Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has defended government’s logic behind the controversial introduction of the Nation Builders Corps, saying the NABCO jobs were introduced to keep unemployed graduates from idling at home.
Government launched the programme in May, this year, to address the country’s graduate unemployment challenge.
Countless jobless nurses, unenthused about the terms of engagement, have been up in arms nationwide in demand for sustainable and well-paying jobs instead.
Touring the Upper East region at the weekend to observe the Month of Ramadan with Muslims and to interact with some traditional authorities, the Vice President expressed hope the would-be NABCO employees would find permanent jobs after their contracts had ended.
His tour coincided with the final Unity Walk of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta region. Whilst former President John Dramani Mahama was lashing out at the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) from the south, Dr. Bawumia was jabbing back at the main opposition party from the north.
“He (President Akufo-Addo) has been able to introduce a new programme for jobs called the Nation Builders Corps where we are hiring a hundred thousand graduates this year without jobs. So, Navrongo, for example, I’m sure will not get less than 400 graduates. They will start work in August, this year. Some of them will go into GRA (Ghana Revenue Authority).
“Some of them will go into Agric Extension. Some of them will go into different private enterprises. By the grace of God, by the time their turn is over, they will get permanent jobs. We think it is better for them to work than to stay at home, which is why the Nations Builders Corps is coming in. He (the President) has done so much in 18 months that many other governments were not able to do in 8 years,” he stated in a meeting with members of the Navrongo Traditional Council.
NPP Government inherited a ‘bone’ Economy
Addressing the Bawku Traditional Council later on Saturday, the Vice President posited the current government inherited an economy the erstwhile handlers had chopped down to a ‘bone’.
“Bawku Naba, the President assumed office 18 months ago, and it was under difficult circumstances. If you would remember, he told us all the meat was finished; it was only left with the bone. And we came and met the bone. Nana Akufo-Addo has made a lot of promises. By the grace of God, after 18 months in office, Nana Akufo-Addo has shown himself to be a man of his word.
“He said he would bring free SHS. He has brought free SHS. The free SHS is helping a lot of our farmers. Many people thought it was not possible. But by the grace of God, we have made it possible. We also promised to restore [the] Teacher Trainee Allowance. And Nana Akufo-Addo has restored the Teacher Trainee Allowance. He promised to restore the Nursing Trainee Allowance. And we have restored the Nursing Trainee Allowance,” Dr. Bawumia said.
He also mentioned the reduction of electricity tariffs, the provision of fertilisers and seeds to farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs Policy, the establishment of the Zongo Development Fund to help out Muslim-occupied ghettos in the country, the launch of the NABCO jobs as well as the creation of 80,000 more jobs at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) among the campaign promises he said the NPP Government had fulfilled to justify the trust Ghanaians reposed in the party at the 2016 general elections.
The Vice President was accompanied by the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the NPP, Lawyer Anthony Namoo, and the Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, among other government officials.