Ghana government payroll is full

Ken Ofori Atta11212 Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Wed, 20 Oct 2021 Source: Zakari Salifu

This is not the first time we are hearing this and surely would not be the last time we would hear this. It would be a vicious cycle until we face it head-on with a workable solution.

Though reality, sometimes comments like these discourage the youth from furthering their education. Education which is said to be the key to success will rather be seen to be otherwise. Instead, a more practical approach is what is needed to turn things around to tackle the menace.

But does our current education system has what it takes to turn things around? The answer is obvious. Our current educational system does not encourage SELF-EMPLOYMENT (ENTREPRENEURSHIP). Our current education system is more bookish and foreign theoretical based, instead of more practical and applicable tuition that has a homegrown solution to our unemployment problems.

Copying is good but must be done in the right way and innovated to suit our local solutions. As the Chinese saying " if you want to be like the master, you must copy the master"

In the western world, students have created multibillion dollars global businesses that have thrived and continue to stand the test of time.

Global giants like, Facebook, FedEx, WordPress, almighty Google to mention but a few originated from the dorms. Not to talk of the numerous other ones that are doing well in their own carved niches.

Can our graduates continue to fall on the government for jobs? Will the government have to continue spending millions of dollars to woo foreign investors to establish businesses in Ghana to employ our graduates? What about the risk of capital flights, repatriation of profits, and their repercussions on the CEDI, the foreign government influences that come with FDIs? Etc. So can't we find a way to grow our own sustainable local young entrepreneurs? If our government has the will, there is surely a way and this is my suggestion

To stimulate the entrepreneurial spirits among the university students, especially undergraduate students in their final years from the universities, I suggest the various schools should begin to allow and encourage multidisciplinary final year university undergraduate students projects to focus on areas that can be turned into business ventures instead of the current final year "grandpa" projects that are left on shelves to rust and rot.

The universities can put in place a multidisciplinary expert review panel to assist these students to fine-tune their projects while the government makes funding available and easily accessible by these students to turn their projects into realities right after graduation.

One may ask, how is this going to be done?

For instance, students from the chemistry department can form a final year project group with accounting students, entrepreneurship students, agricultural students, or any other combinations of students areas of studies depending on the type of projects to be undertaken to put their respective expertise together to go into a final year student project that can be funded to create a business venture.

Now how is the funding going to be secured?

While the above measures are in place, I further suggest the National Service Scheme in its current form be scrapped or converted into a Graduate Project Support Scheme. By this, students will no longer have to undergo compulsory "idle" National Service.

And all the funds that are currently channelled to the scheme can be redirected into the new scheme to provide funding and guidance to graduate projects instead of "Ghc559 chop money" to them.

Currently, the government spends in excess of Ghc 600 million in payment of NSS allowances alone. Cost of office running and staff salaries not included While many NSS persons only idle around at their respective stations waiting for the month to end to file their "A4 sheets" report for their 559. It is better to teach someone how to fish than to feed them with fish.

Something must be done urgently to save our dear country from the timed bomb of unemployed youth we are sitting on.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

Columnist: Zakari Salifu