Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has disclosed that, the Government of Ghana has budgeted GHS600 million for the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCO) initiative.
He indicated that, claims by the Minority in Parliament that the government lacked money to undertake the project is unfounded because the amount has been stated in the government’s 2018 budget statement which has been approved by parliament.
President Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday launched NaBCO, which will employ, in this year alone, 100,000 young men and women to assist in the public sector service delivery needs of Ghana.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “NaBCO will be the vehicle to deliver one hundred thousand (100,000) jobs in seven (7) prioritised areas, defined as the following modules: Educate Ghana; Heal Ghana; Feed Ghana; Revenue Ghana; Digitise Ghana; Enterprise Ghana; and Civic Ghana.”
Explaining the rationale for the establishment of the Corps, President Akufo-Addo noted that the grim story of youth unemployment has been a tragic part of the lives of Ghanaians for far too long in Ghana, worsened, in recent times, by the ban placed on public sector employment by the International Monetary Fund.
That is why, according to the President, in the 2018 budget statement, “I gave an indication that a new employment scheme will be launched to tackle the issue of the growing number of graduates exiting our tertiary institutions with no job placements in sight.”
But the Member of Parliament for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim, has said the government has no funds to undertake the project.
He told Chief Jerry Forson on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Wednesday, 2 May that the government intends to introduce more taxes to fund the project.
“The government is now preparing to increase the VAT and also introduce more taxes to get money for the project. This shows clearly that the government intends to kill the private sector just to build the Nations Builders Corps,” he said.
But reacting to the claims of Mr Ibrahim on the same programme, Mr Oppong Nkrumah noted that the claims of Mr Ibrahim showed that he did not read the budget statement.
“There is no need to argue over this, just pick the government’s budget statement and find out whether or not the government didn’t budget for the programme.
“An amount of GHS600million was earmarked for the project, and, so, I am shocked that Mr Ibrahim is making such claims. I think he hasn’t read the budget.”