“The truth is that President Mahama has used the excuse of creating jobs for the young people of Ghana only to steal and abuse taxpayers’ money. As we head to the November 7th elections, we expect the NDC to start rolling out numerous youth employment modules, which again will create avenues for the NDC to steal money and distribute monies and freebies, as they did in 2012. The youth of Ghana must wake up!” he stated.
Mr Awuku pointed out that the NPP was scared “by the latest World Bank report on employment, which estimated that 48% of Ghanaian youth were without jobs”.
He continued: “What it means is that in these eight years of the National Democratic Congress, nearly half of the young people of Ghana of working age, who are not in school, have no jobs and, therefore, no income. This is dangerous, criminal, suicidal, and unacceptable for any nation.”
Mr Awuku described President Mahama’s tenure as a disaster full of hardships, especially for the youth. He condemned what he described as maltreatment of newly recruited teachers, failure of government to post bonded nurses and midwives who graduated years ago. He also criticised the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration for “the dwindling growth in manufacturing and agricultural sectors” and stated his displeasure about the closure of the Komenda Sugar Factory, which was closed shortly after the announcement that the factory had been revamped and will be producing sugar to meet local demand.
Below is the full statement:
PRESIDENT MAHAMA IS NOT COMMITTED TO YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, on behalf of the youth wing of the NPP, I thank you for honouring our invitation to this press conference at such short notice.
We have invited you here today to express our fear as young Ghanaians at the growing rate of youth unemployment in our country. We do not see a future for the youth under President John Mahama and his NDC. What we see is a future of joblessness, indebtedness and hopelessness.
For example, in 2015, for every one Ghana cedi, President Mahama invested only 27 pesewas in capital expenditure, building schools, roads, hospitals, and all the infrastructure projects that can create jobs for engineers, builders, painters, welders, teachers, nurses, drivers, etc. So ask yourselves: where did the remaining 73 pesewas go?
Again, our fear is further heightened by the latest World Bank report on employment which estimates that 48% of Ghanaian youth are without jobs. What it means is that in these eight years of the National Democratic Congress, nearly half of the young people of Ghana of working age, who are not in school, have no jobs and therefore no income. This is dangerous, criminal, suicidal and unacceptable for any nation.
Indeed, President John Mahama, who projected himself as the “youthful” president has in fact become the biggest disaster of a president for the youth of Ghana.
While Ghanaians are losing their jobs under the toxic mix of dumsor, criminally inflated electricity prices, high interest rates, high cost of production, and high cost of living all round, President John Mahama and his NDC are still engaged in propaganda with the issue of jobs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our hopes were once again dashed, when few days ago the Komenda Sugar Factory which was commissioned by President Mahama had to be shut down barely 48 hours after operation. Indeed, as it has turned out to be, what President Mahama commissioned amid all the pomp and pageantry was an NDC Propaganda hub and not a sugar production hub.
All across the country, from the Volta Region to the Northern Region, the youth, especially the many young people who voted for the “younger” President Mahama, have regretted doing so because not only has the President not delivered on his promises, he has actually killed the little hope that was there.
In fact what we have witnessed in the last 8 years has been gross mismanagement, which has brought about the collapse of productive initiatives created by the erstwhile NPP administration to solve the unemployment situation in the country.
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMMES (GYEEDA/Y.E.S.)
Ladies and gentlemen, the Mahama-led NDC administration has failed woefully to provide any clear cut policy direction aimed at systematically training and providing employment opportunities for unemployed youth.
We have witnessed the metamorphosing of the NPP’s National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), to a series of stealing schemes, the Mills-led NDC GYEEDA, and now President Mahama’s Youth Enterprise Support (Y.E.S.). The truth is that President Mahama has used the excuse of creating jobs for the young people of Ghana only to steal and abuse taxpayers’ money.
As we head to the November 7th elections, we expect the NDC to start rolling out numerous “youth employment modules”, which again will create avenues for the NDC to steal money and distribute monies and freebies, as they did in 2012.
The youth of Ghana must wake up!
POSTINGS OF QUALIFIED NURSES AND MID-WIVES
The employment situation in our country’s health sector has never witnessed such gargantuan human resource mismanagement in recent years. The treatment meted out to our young health workers by the Mahama-led administration, is inhumane and criminal. Graduate Nurses and Midwives who are officially bonded with Government, and successfully passed the Licensing Examination organized by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in 2013 and ended their National Service (Rotation) in January, 2015 have had to stay home for over a year without being posted to their various fields of work. This is wicked!
After cancelling Trainees’ Allowances, abnormal rise in school fees and cancellation of “back pay”, government is also refusing to employ those who managed to qualify under such harsh conditions. Young nurses are now reduced to picketing to deaf ears of officialdom. The situation becomes worse following reports from some nursing trainee institutes about lack of access to the Students Loan Trust. Students of the Koforidua Nursing Training School in March this year, appealed to government to speed up the processes with the Students Loan Trust to enable them access the loans. Anytime they went to the Koforidua Office of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), they were turned away with the explanation that Government had not entered into any agreement with them for nursing trainees to be given the loan facility.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, where then lies the future for our young Nursing and Midwifery students and graduates? Are we saying to them that they must go abroad in order to use the skills that were funded by Ghanaian taxpayers?
MALTREATMENT OF NEWLY RECRUITED TEACHERS
It has had to take several petitions, demonstrations, and even strike actions for the Mahama administration to hear the cry of young teacher recruits. No country serious about its future would treat its teachers like slaves. Young teachers cannot continue to work without pay, whiles cronies of the President are paid for no work done. As late as March this year, the Mahama government was still struggling to as they said, “validate” documents of teachers, some of whom were recruited as far back as two years ago, before paying them.
RECRUITMENT INTO THE POLICE SERVICE
The recent ‘mad’ rush for police recruitment forms, ladies and gentlemen of the media, is only indicative of the dire state of unemployment among our youth and the need for them to find themselves in employment at all cost.
We wish to state however, that we are very disappointed at the rather high price of GHS100.00 (One million cedis!) the Ghana Police Service sold the application forms. Instead of creating jobs for the youth, the state is now finding clever ways to take the little money they do not even have! The money they borrowed from already over burdened and disappointed parents and guardians. Within three days of making the Police recruitment forms available for purchase, as many as 17,000 were bought. We are talking here about GHS1.7 millon, equal to 17 billion old cedis, callously taken away from the struggling Ghanaian youth.
DWINDLING GROWTH IN MANUFACTURING AND AGRICULTURAL SECTORS
Ladies and gentlemen of the Media, the Mahama-led administration says it is transforming Ghana and changing lives, yet the two areas that should drive this process are the worst hit: manufacturing and agriculture, sectors with huge potential for creating jobs for the youth. The manufacturing sector is collapsing under the weight of dumsor, high electricity bills and stifling duties and other taxes. Today, Ghana is importing plantain from Cote d’Ivoire, which has rather overtaken India as the largest exporter of cashew nuts, on top of cocoa, which we are now importing from our neighbours next door. The state owned media, The Daily Graphic, in March this year, under the headline: Kumasi Shoe Factory Dying Slowly Again After Revival, reported that some three years after its revival, the Mahama-led NDC government was yet to fulfill its promise of contracting the Kumasi Shoe Factory as the sole manufacturer of all the shoes for the Ghana Armed Forces and other security agencies in the country.
Mahama kills jobs! Mahama kills futures! Mahama is simply bad for the youth of Ghana. After wasting the resources of oil-rich, gold-rich, cocoa-rich, timber-rich Ghana on corruption and incompetence, President John Mahama has now ceded the running of the economy to IMF bureaucrats in Washington, who do not care whether the young people of Ghana get jobs or not.
In a recent Lecture at Accra Polytechnic, Alhaji Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, the running mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the 2016 election, cautioned that the unemployment situation in the country has reached a crisis level and urged the government to treat it as a national security issue.
He disclosed that President Mahama has signed a deal with the IMF to sack workers in 2017 if he is re-elected. It is neatly termed, “rationalisation of workers” in the public sector. NDC, through corruption and incompetence, has ran down the economy of the country and has now reduced Ghana to taking the bitter IMF pill once again. Are we going or coming under Mahama?
Rightly so, Dr. Bawumia has described the toxic mix of Mahama’s leadership as excessive borrowing, drop in agriculture production and the manufacturing industry, high taxes and corruption, economic slowdown and power outages and has added that these are the very causes of unemployment in the country.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, fellow Ghanaians, the abysmal failure of the Mahama-led NDC government to secure the future of the youth, is an undeniable fact. The disillusionment of our teaming youth and the absence of competent political leadership to direct them to a world of hope, is there for all to see. Indeed, the youth of this country have been severely short-changed by the NDC government.
It is in this regard that we, the youth wing of the NPP are calling on the youth of Ghana not to lose hope. Better days are on the horizon. Let us work together to change this Mahama-led NDC administration, which has made it a habit to only pay lip service to youth development in the country, but will rush to distribute monies and goodies under the guise of creating unsustainable jobs, solely for the purpose of buying votes.
Finally, I end by calling on the teeming youth whose noble dreams have been turned into nightmares by the non performing NDC government to seize the opportunity November 7, 2016 presents to us by organising for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and mobilising for change.
Let’s once again repose our confidence in a party with a track record of delivery. Just as President Kufour delivered on his promises by introducing the;
• National Youth Employment Programme • The School Feeding Programme • Capitation Grant to make education affordable and accessible • The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) • Free maternal care for all pregnant women. • Metro Mass Transit transport service • Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) etc, lets rest assured that an Akufo
Addo presidency will in like manner deliver on the promise of restoring both the teacher and nursing trainee allowances, establish the Zongo development fund as part of a broader inner city development strategy, give priority to agriculture and value addition in agriculture as a tool for job creation and also create an enhanced employment tax credit scheme to provide incentives for companies which will employ fresh graduates.
Let’s all endeavour to use November 7, to save and secure our collective future.
Let’s ARISE FOR CHANGE.
Thank you. Sammy Awuku National Youth Organiser, NPP.