General News of 2014-01-20

Gov’t not proud of GYEEDA mess - Ayariga

Government says it isn’t proud about how the whole Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) progamme has turned out.

The stop-gap employment programme which was meant to reduce youth and graduate unemployment has been fraught with corruption.

Five of the contracts signed by the government with certain private firms have been cancelled as a result.

The government has also asked the firms to refund about Ghc55 million cedis paid to them illegally.

Information and Media Relations Minister Mahama Ayariga said Saturday that the government has regretted the mess caused at GYEEDA.

“Let me state here that the government is not proud of what happened in the whole GYEEDA affair…we appreciate that fact that it started with a good intention; we believe that many young people in this country benefitted from the GYEEDA arrangement. Now we discover that there were administrative lapses and some people took did advantage of these administrative lapses”.

Mr Ayariga said: “We are fixing the problem; we are putting in place the legal arrangements, we are investigating, EOCO is looking at it, those who need to refund money are going to refund the money, we are terminating contracts that we – based on evaluation – [have] come to a conclusion that there’s no value for money”.

Critics however say the Government must go beyond demanding a refund and also prosecute the “big fishes” involved in the whole rot.

Mr Ayariga promised on Joy FM that President John Mahama won’t let any of those big fishes off the hook if they are found culpable.

“You don’t catch big fishes at the shore…you have to swim and get there to be able to catch them…we are probing and probing further…if we indeed find the sharks and the big fishes that you’re so concerned about, I want to assure you that John Dramani Mahama will not hesitate to deal with any big fish that he finds as he swims deeper and deeper on the GYEEDA issue”, Mr Ayariga said.