By Adu Koranteng
The Deputy Minister of Information has dismissed claims by the minority in parliament that the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) initiative is a duplication of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah explained that NABCO is a supplementary program introduced by the Akufo-Addo administration to further reduce the unemployment situation in the country.
In an interview with Accra-based UTV said the two programmes are different although they seek to tackle the country’s teething unemployment problem.
The programme was launched on May 1, as one of President Akufo-Addo’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies to reduce graduate unemployment in the country.
A total of 100,000 unemployed graduates are expected to be employed in the first year of the pilot programme.
On Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile on Saturday, the Tamale Central legislator, Inusah Fuseini, described government’s newly launched programme, as an inefficient allocation of scarce social resources.
He believes the Akufo-Addo government should rather concentrate its efforts at creating opportunities for the private sector to expand so as to create the necessary jobs.
According to him, the tertiary institutions are already training people and providing them with the knowledge and skill set needed for the job market.
Other members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have also claimed that one of government’s flagship programme was only an extension of the YEA program and that the new administration deserved no credit for it.
But Mr Nkrumah who is also the parliamentarian for Ofoase-Ayeribi explained that “the youth employment modules do not focus on Degree and diploma holders but this initiative focuses on recruiting 100,000 unemployed graduates.”
“The YEA modules continue to recruit and engage our youth in mostly blue collar jobs. But this initiative is specifically designed to accommodate graduates and diploma holders in the white collar segment. The two do not conflict nor duplicate each other,” he said.
According to him, the current modules under NABCO will augment the modules under the YEA to provide more jobs for the youth in across the country.
Responding to questions on whether the programme is another show of appreciation in the form of ‘job for the boys and girls’ who campaigned for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the MP said government’s focus is primarily to ease the unemployment situation regardless of party affiliation.
He further explained that the beneficiaries will earn an income while acquiring further post-academic employable skills which will make it easier for them to enter into the world of full employment upon completion of the program.
Mr Nkrumah also mentioned that unlike employment programs of old, the NABCO programme has four exit modules for which beneficiaries will be prepared for from months 31-36.