Business News of 2013-12-11

LESDEP is here to stay – Baba Jamal

The Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Baba Jamal, has dismissed criticisms that the Mahama led administration intends to terminate the Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP).

The criticism follows what they called the government’s failure to allocate resources in the 2014 budget to help run LESDEP.

In an interview with Citi News after Parliament approved budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development; Mr Jamal said the criticisms were unjustified.

‘’We agree that this year some of the payments delayed, but when you are doing a budget estimate you have a cut-off point and the cut-off point was September.’’

‘’Beyond September some more payments have been made, specifically to LESDEP and even school feeding; so it will not be right to say that we are killing it.’’

According to the Minister LESDEP is still ongoing, ‘’this year a lot of items have been sent out and more people are going to be trained.’’

LESDEP is a specialised employment creation programme that seeks to provide the requisite skills, tools and training for the youth to enable them to become self-employed.

Baba Jamal added that LESDEP has been successful so far in helping alleviate poverty and strengthening the country’s labour force, hence the resolve of government to continue.