General News of Saturday, 12 January 2019
The government’s employment scheme Nation Builders Corp has been hit with reports of non-payment of stipends to workers.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in October 2018 commissioned the passing out ceremony for 100,000 beneficiaries under NaBCo modules in October 2018 and the following month, about 44,000 applicants had been placed to start work.
But reports indicate that there have been delays in the payment of their GHc700 stipend paid to those working in the program.
Two of the workers criticized the government on Eyewitness News for portraying NaBCo as a smooth success.
One of them who gave his name as Nana said “the management of NABCO has painted the picture as if NaBCo is going on well and NABCO trainees have been paid but nothing, no payment at all so we are pleading with our leaders. They should please pay attention to NaBCo.”
He also urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to pay closer attention to what was happening with the scheme.
“If he [the President] is thinking everything is fine please it is not as fine as he is thinking or maybe he has been told. We have problems. There are problems,” Nana, who is a network engineer on the Digitize Ghana module, said.
Another called Isaac who is on the enterprise module highlighted the social cost of the non-payment of stipends.
Isaac, who studied industrial painting and sculpture said he is married and a father of three and is unable to support his family.
Aside from not being paid, he is also unable to seek out a temporary job because of restrictions from NaBCo’s terms of engagement.
“Once you have been engaged, on the engagement letter, you are asked not to do anything apart from NaBCo.”
The father of three has to rely on family to survive. Isaac said “I have to sometimes go to my dad…sometimes I have to go to my mother. Sometimes my auntie. Coming here, I went to my aunty for [transport money]. I will only hope God will only open another window for me meaning I will get another job outside and bow out quietly and respectfully out of NaBCo,” he said.
Criticism of NaBCo
Observers have retorted that NaBCo is not a sustainable way of tackling unemployment despite the government’s assertions.
Former Director of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, for example, said only high economic growth would ensure the creation of sustainable jobs for Ghanaians.
“You cannot address the unemployment problem through government interventions like NaBCo, it is simply not sustainable. It’s through high growth that you will be able to do that and yet we are moving away from that and are instead indulging in these projects,” he said.