General News Mon, 29 Feb 2016

IMANI: Gov’t’s job creation claims dubious

IMANI Ghana has stated that the president’s State of the Nation Addresses since 2013 have not been able to provide deep insights on the efforts of government to reduce unemployment in the country.

It said the government had not been able to offer records on the number of people without jobs, while information on graduate unemployment statistics were also unavailable.

Africa’s second best think tank, IMANI, made these observations in a document reviewing the president’s State of the Nation Address since he began his term three years ago.

Titled IMANI Alert: A Review of President Mahama’s State of the Nation Addresses from 2013-2016, the report tackled a number of sectors including the economy, agriculture, education, health, water, housing, and communication.

On the matter of employment, IMANI said due to President Mahama’s presentations on job creation not backed by “corresponding statistics, his claims remain vague and quite difficult to verify”.

It further added that the current freeze on hiring in the public sector and the energy crisis from the last three years had aggravated the unemployment situation in the country.

“The huge size of Ghana’s public service means that the current freeze on hiring under the IMF programme has had a significant effect on unemployment.

"The energy crisis that was about three years long would inevitably have a serious effect on unemployment as a number of companies went out of business. The current harsh business climate has also constrained the efforts of companies to expand and hence hire more workers. Regrettably, there is limited information on unemployment in the SOTN (State of the Nation) addresses from 2013 till date.

"Such gaps make it difficult to assess the president’s claims that his government has been good for job creation,” the report stated.

The document concluded on employment thus: “Without statistics on the unemployment situation and its distribution, one wonders how the government can plan to remedy the situation.”
Source: classfmonline.com