Youth unemployment, over the years, has plagued this country with very little in terms of policy initiatives by successive governments to arrest the situation. Unemployment among graduates scourged the country in the eight years the National Democratic Congress was in office.
The gravity of the situation under the Mahama administration led to the formation of the Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana. Try as they might, their efforts to get the then government to listen to their cries fell on deaf ears.
The New Patriotic Party, under the tutelage of then-candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, promised to confront graduate unemployment head-on. This, the NPP captured in its 2016 manifesto.
To actualize this pledge to change that obnoxious status quo, the Akufo-Addo administration, upon the assumption of office, despite the innumerable challenges bequeathed to it by the previous administration, decided to institute the Nation Builders’ Corps (NabCo).
This policy is designed to employ about one hundred thousand graduates every year in key sectors of the economy. Beneficiaries of the NabCo programme are to receive monthly payments of GHC700. The various modules under the scheme are Educate Ghana, Heal Ghana, Feed Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Civic Ghana, Enterprise Ghana and Digitize Ghana.
As those employed under the programme are readying themselves to go out there to work assiduously to build Ghana, it would be a travesty of fairness to ignore certain impedimental issues which came up and still persist.
The opposition NDC, from the onset, set out to pour cold water on NabCo. According to them, NabCo is not the solution to the unemployment problem in the country since it is a stopgap. They also made and continue to strongly make a case against the policy to the effect that the GHC700 monthly salary does not commensurate with the certificates of the employed graduates.
In effect, the monthly payment of GHC700 to each beneficiary is way beneath these graduates, according to the NDC.
Their claim of NabCo not being the solution to graduate unemployment fails to jell with logical reasoning. It is as though they have a different interpretation of what constitutes employment which does not include the one being used under NabCo.
It is also interesting why they did not give these unemployed graduates proper employments since they hold the view that NabCo is a bad case.
On the issue of the monthly salary, they claim does not match up with their certificates, it would interest you to know that prior to the 2016 elections, Mahama promised that in his second term, he was going to employ the youth which would have included graduates in various sectors of the economy with a monthly salary pegged at GHC350.
Clearly, the opposition party had no policy to deal with graduate unemployment and in opposition, they don’t appear to have been able to conceive any practical ideas to help reduce graduate unemployment, and that explains why they would pooh-pooh this highly important interventional programme from the Akufo-Addo Government.
What is obvious is that NabCo under the National Democratic Congress will be nonextant. There have been several pronouncements pointing out to the fact that should the NDC come to power, all those working under NabCo will be dismissed and the programme curtailed abruptly.
Mr Ade Coker, in an interview on CitiTV, was categorical that a future NDC government will retire NabCo, meaning unemployment amongst graduates will rear its ugly head once again.
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