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Opinions Sat, 22 Dec 2018

Mahama has no moral right to talk about unemployment!

Former President John Dramain Mahama, in a recent speech he delivered, barefacedly accused the Akufo-Addo administration of embarking on policies which have caused unemployment in the country.

According to the ex-president, the banking sector is on its knees as a result of the administration's decision to fold some five banks which were distressed. To him, those who were employed in the sector have been left in a stupor, causing them to lose their jobs.

Concluding his delivery, the former president accused the Akufo-Addo administration of doing very little to confront the unemployment menace head-on.

As an antidote to the unemployment situation experienced in the country, Mr Mahama only said that he will create jobs for the teeming youth when he comes back to power.

This promise begs the question; why did he not create jobs for Ghanaians in the eight years that he was at the helm of affairs? One can easily conclude that this is a gimmick to win votes.

The former President, it is crystal clear, sought to portray a very rosy picture of employment during his time. Judging from his posturing, the employment sector experienced heaven when he was at the helm of affairs.

Subjecting his statement to critical scrutiny, former President Mahama is being dishonest over this matter. He is the undisputed champion when it comes to leaders who inflicted huge unemployment numbers on the country.

For reasons we are yet to be enlightened on, John Mahama failed to employ graduate nurses who completed their courses in 2014 and never employed them till he was booted out of office. President Akufo-Addo has employed over 16,000 of such unemployed nurses. 14,000 more will be employed in February 2019.

Teachers who had completed colleges of education were not employed for about two years before the NDC lost power. So far, over 33,000 Ghanaians have been roped into the teaching field.

On the banking front, it is disingenuous on the part of John Dramani Mahama to blame the Akufo-Addo government for the ills that have befallen those in the sector.

Akufo-Addo was bequeathed a volatile banking sector since most of the banks were well-decorated buildings with empty cash. Mahama, in cahoots with Kofi Wampah and Dr Nasiru Issahaku, ruined the banking sector. They doled out monies to banks without proper supervision.

The government has had to spend over GHS10 billion to resuscitate the banking system. Though some 3000 workers in the sector have been retrenched as a result of the on-going restructuring plan of the government, over 1.5 million Ghanaians would have lost their investments if the government had not stepped in to sanitize the field.

Ghana was a vehicle without a driver under the Mahama administration. The economy was on autopilot when Mahama was in charge of the country. Unemployment plagued the graduate youth in many ways. The afflictions the youth faced culminated in the formation of the Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo, upon the assumption of office, saw the need to rescue these graduates from their woes with the introduction of the Nation Builders' Corps (NaBCo). This is a vehicle that has roped in 100,000 graduates into the various modules under the programme.

Apart from these, several other interventional programmes have been rolled out to capture thousands of unemployed youth in the country, contrary to the gloomy picture Mahama is painting. The One District, One Factory initiative, Planting for Food and Jobs, amongst others, are areas where employment opportunities do exist.

In effect, the Akufo-Addo administration dwarfs John Mahama to the background in terms of employment. John Mahama's name connotes unemployment. The NDC and unemployment are bedfellows. The two are like Siamese twins. Former President Mahama should stop making a mockery of himself on this particular subject.

Columnist: John Antwi Boasiako