Majority, Minority lock horns over job creation

Dr Rashid Pelpuo

Dr Rashid Pelpuo

THE Majority and Minority caucuses in Parliament yesterday locked horns over which of the two political traditions have the best approach to creating jobs for the teeming unemployed graduates.

 

Wa Central Member of Parliament, Dr Rashid Pelpuo, throwing the first jab said the government’s approach to job creation was not the best.

 

In his view, the jobs that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government claims to have created over the two years it has been in office were temporary and unsustainable.

 

Taking his turn to debate the 2019 Budget Statement and Fiscal Policy yesterday, Dr Pelpuo said the government was taking consolation in the unsustainable jobs whiles at the same time putting undue pressure on the public purse.

 

According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker, “no country has developed because the government has given them temporary jobs just as the present situation.”

 

Making reference to the Nation Builders Corps which has engaged about 100,000 graduates for a period of three years, Dr Pelpuo said that approach would only postpone the unemployment situation.

 

Apart from not being able to create sustainable jobs, Dr Pelpuo said there were massive job losses in the system as a result of bad economic policies as foreign direct investment in the country continues to decline.

 

He said the NDC’s approach to the unemployment situation through the provision of infrastructure was the best and most sustainable for a developing country like Ghana.

 

“Mr Speaker, we are in extraordinary times. Everybody is crying. Nobody is happy in this country so we need an extraordinary situation that can avert this situation. This government is not the government that can address the exigencies we are facing. We are suffering, the nation is in trouble,” he said to loud cheers from the Minority caucus.

 

But the member for Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Elvis Morris Donkoh, said the opposition was engaged in a false peddling agenda to discredit the hard work of the government to gain undue political agenda.

 

Quoting a data from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), he said the business environment had improved and the private sector had responded in that direction by increasing jobs.

 

“Based on SSNIT data, the private sector added 208,608 formal jobs within 10 months in 2018.

 

“So Mr Speaker, if he [Dr Rashid Pelpuo] says that the government’s policies haven’t done anything to create jobs for young people, I bet to differ,” he said.

 

He said apart from the formal jobs, the Nation Builders Corps, an employment scheme to hire unemployed graduates and train them for future permanent jobs, has engaged 100,000 jobs, over 8,000 teachers, 19,000 non-teaching staff, amongst others.

 

The biggest legacy a government could bequeath a country, he said was youth development “and that is what the NPP government is doing” through the implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) policy.

 

He said before the coming into office of the Akufo-Addo government, most young people at the SHS level could not have access but now have through the policy.

 

“Mr Speaker, what is more achievement than this free education?” he rhetorically asked and said “we need to commend the President and the government for this achievement.”

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

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