The audit unit of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), has been able to save the country, a total of GH¢247.5 million, by expunging 20,000 ‘ghost names’ on its payroll.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the agency, Justin Kodua Frimpong, disclosed this at the maiden edition of the “Nation Building Update,” held in Accra on Tuesday.
According to him, the unit since 2017 had managed to save the country GH¢82.5 million yearly.
Mr Frimpong explained that “This is borne out of prudent management and the institution of an effective validation, verification, monitoring and evaluation practices implemented by the Agency’s management.”
He added that, the Agency, through five youth-oriented schemes, had provided 143,963 jobs to the youth in the country, contributing to the reduction of youth employment from 14.17 per cent in 2015 to 8.4 per cent by 2019.
The schemes include the YEA Job Centre which connects job seekers to employers, Work Abroad, which provides opportunity to the Ghanaian youth to work outside the country, and the Youth in Elite Sports programme.
The others are Regional Flagship programme, which supports maize cultivation among youth in farming, and Entrepreneurship training programme, which equips the youth with entrepreneurial skills and modern business practices.
On her part, the Executive Director of theNational Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Kosi Afua Yankey-Ayeh, said, the government, through the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business (CAP BUSS), had assisted over 850,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMMEs) in the country, mostly owned by the youth.
She noted that, “Since 2017 to January this year, NBSSI has facilitated GH¢38,527,785.21 million in access to farming, which is the core and pillar of the work that we do.”
Similarly, the CEO of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo), Dr Ibrahim Anyars, mentioned that his outfit had started a process of giving permanent employment to the first batch of beneficiaries.
He also explained that the exit scheme would provide support to beneficiaries who would want to establish their own businesses by partnering the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) and NBSSI to employ about 19,000 of them.
Sharing the story of NEIP, the CEO, John Kumah, indicated that under the presidential business support programme, 45,783 startup businesses across the country had received training to boost their production capacities.
He also indicated that, NEIP was collaborating with the National Service Scheme (NSS), to enable service persons to apply and be posted to their own businesses, while they receive the allowance due them.
Highlighting some achievements of the NSS, the Executive Director of the Scheme, Mustapha Ussif, said, it had digitised its systems, leading to online registration and a certificate delivery system.
He revealed that, NSS would in October this year commission a water production plant which was abandoned after the President John Agyekum Kufuor regime and make it operational.
The CEO of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Sylvester Mensah Tetteh, also noted that, government had trained about 8,000 young people in online digital marketing and various entrepreneurship endeavours.
The Nation Building Update, a weekly event, spearheaded by the Information Ministry would provide details of government interventions in various sectors of the economy and its outcome.
BY FRANCIS NTOW AND ABIGAIL ARTHUR