NaBCo trainees demo to demand payment of allowance arrears

Trainees of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) yesterday embarked on a demonstration through the principal streets of Accra to demand the immediate payment of allowance arrears owed its members.

They also called on government to as a matter of urgency formulate and implement a career pathway for NaBCo trainees.

The demonstrators carried placards some of which read “Hunger kills more than COVID-19,” “When are you paying our 10months arrears Mr President? NaBCo nurses also matter,” “Job experience without livelihood is useless,” and “Over three years working experience is enough for permanent employment.”

The two-hour demonstration started at the ObraSpot through Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Adabraka, through to the Central Business District (CBD), Liberia Road and finally converging at the Independence Square.

Addressing the media after the demonstration, the patron of NaBCo trainees, Nana BerimahAsamoah, said the fundamental objective of the NaBCo scheme was to ensure the survival of the unemployed Ghanaian youth, however, that was not the case.

“It is unfair to usafter working for three years, Labour experts continue to describe the NaBCo trainees as inexperienced and lack skills as some of us had degrees in various fields of study,” he lamented.

He explained that it was important for the government to admit the country was currently facing job crisis and weak private sector empowerment, hence, “the increasing unemployment crisis in the country.”

Mr Asamoah appealed to the government to consider the re-absorption of the trainees into the public sector and the immediate disbursement of the outstanding stipends. 

Receiving the petition, the Greater Accra Regional Co-ordinator of NABCO, Alhaji Baba Mohammed, said the Chief Executive Officer of NABCO would peruse the petition and propose viable measures to address the concerns raised.

He debunked claims by the NaBCo trainees that the head count organised yesterday was a means to sabotage the demonstration, saying that “it was important to streamline and fast track their payment system. A lot of them had been employed but had refused to get off the system, hence, the need for the head count to resolve such issues.”

Mr Mohammed added that a great number of the trainees had been employed into the public sector.  He was, however, unable to provide an estimated number of the beneficiaries absorbed.

He refused allegations by the trainees that allowances have not been paid for a year, explaining that “personnel who are yet to be paid are the ones with peculiar challenges. Some allowances for the month of September and October are yet to be paid and it is currently being worked on by management.”

Juxtaposing, a trainee on the Heal Ghana module, Amina Mohammed, said the assertion by the regional coordinator was wrong because she had no peculiar issues.

She entreated NaBCo to check from the various institutions to ascertain the number of personnel there so as to pay them what is owed.

“I received my last allowance in March last year and I’m yet to be paid for the remaining months. NaBCo sent messages around to personnel on the Heal Ghana module assuring us we will receive our allowances but I’m yet to receive mine,” Ms Mohammed explained.

BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE

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