Some staffs of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) have started arriving in Accra, from the various regional capitals, to join their colleagues in the Greater Accra Region to embark on a demonstration to the seat of government, the Osu Castle.
This is to back home their demand for the payment of their salaries, which have been in arrears for the past four months. The spokesman for the group, Kwame Sefa Frimpong, and his other colleagues from the regions who spoke to The Chronicle yesterday, noted that their decision stems from the fact that several meetings with the authorities concerned, have failed to yield results.
In almost all instances that they have met coordinators of the programme, the group noted that they were only paying lip-service, by promising to pay them their salaries, only for them to renege on those promises.
They could therefore not fathom how the authorities expect them to go home with empty hands, especially in this festive season, since they equally have individual responsibilities and family commitments to meet.
For this reason, the NYEP staffs believe that marching to the Castle would make the authorities, and for that matter, the President of the Republic, know their problems and address them appropriately.
But, the National Coordinator of the NYEP and former Member of Parliament (MP) for Paga, Abuga Pele, has asked his ‘boys’ to hold their horses, and exercise a bit of restraint whilst they try to find an amicable settlement of the issue.
Whilst appreciating the concerns of the affected staff, he noted that it would be prudent for them to give the government sometime to expedite action, since it had no such intention to cause any disaffection for the staff.
He told The Chronicle that they were making efforts to pay the aggrieved staff their outstanding salary arrears.
As of yesterday, he noted that the government had succeeded in paying that of the month of September 2009 into the accounts of the staffs, and was currently working on the salaries for the month of October.
He however noted that the salaries for November and December would be paid after the Christmas break, since they were still working on it.
Meanwhile, staffs of the NYEP have called on the government to intervene otherwise they may be forced to lay down their tools.
The problem of inadequate funding for the programme started under the previous administration, and its smooth running is still being impeded under the current government.
The challenge concerning inadequate and irregular flow of funds raises red flags for the programme. It is however not clear whether the programme could be sustained without government funds.
Source: The Chronicle
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