NABCO: A Year On, A Worthy Enthusiasm

NABCO is One Year Old! Hip Hip Hip Hurrayyyyy!!!!

About 100,000 graduates from across the length and breath of Ghana woke up one morning to very good news. Guess what? Jobs were made available for them. These graduates, some of whom had stayed in the house for several years were finally going to get something to do with their hands. For many of them, the breeze of happiness that blew across their faces was not because they were going to take something home at the end of the month. But they were finally going to make good use of their talents and skills. Going to practically put to use the theories they were taught in school. For some, the era of them being the unofficial ‘watchmen’ of the house was going to be a thing of the past. For others, the era of everybody informing them that they were going to work every morning while they stayed at home was soon going to be a thing of the past.

Money is good. Everybody likes it. But to many of these graduates, the psychological trauma of not having anything useful to do with their lives several years after completion of school meant that the announcement of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) was such a joyous news.

On Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, unveiled the NABCO at a May Day Celebration. The initiative which will later be launched in October 2018 will be the vehicle to deliver 100,000 jobs in seven prioritized areas, defined as Educate Ghana; Heal Ghana; Feed Ghana; Revenue Ghana; Digitize Ghana; Enterprise Ghana; and Civic Ghana. Central to its objectives, is to engage the raw talents of unemployed graduates and equip them with skills through a process of value addition and training.

As the president stated during the announcement of the program, there were no charges or costs in its application process and of course, this is digitized Ghana under ‘Nana- Bawumia’; no paper application forms to fill. Everything was done online; on the website of NABCO. According to the president, this was to optimize efficiency in the processing of applications, as well as afford the government the opportunity for checking with other available national databases to prevent fraud.

Enthusiastic youth from all the four corners of the country went through the various application processes successfully albeit some challenges.

There were, have been and continue to be several attempts by detractors of the government to demonize the policy, but one can say with confidence that this is one of the best policies of the Akufo-Addo government. The support this policy has enjoyed from people of all walks of life sent the naysayers against it to early bed.

Celebrations

Towards the end of September this year, social media has been awash with nicely designed flyers. Its signature green colour and the picture of the Chief Executive Officer of NABCO, flooding different social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. Privileged to be on some National and District whatsapp platforms of NABCO, I had seen some beneficiaries happily making contributions and coming up with brilliant ideas. The intention is simple, while the National Secretariat is planning a National One Year Anniversary of the initiative; beneficiaries nationwide have taken it upon themselves to also celebrate at the district and regional levels, the one year anniversary of the initiative.

This government has been accused by its detractors of always engaging in fun fair on every small initiative. But when you have beneficiaries of a programme that relieved them of psychological trauma, a programme that gave them the impetus to wake up in the morning, take their bath and also leave the house to work, a programmme that has brought them from their room to engage face to face with some big personalities in the country; planning to celebrate such a program in grand style, who can deny them this simple opportunity.

Thousands of these young men and women through NABCO have had permanent jobs. Several beneficiaries in modules such as Educate Ghana, Heal Ghana, Civi Ghana among others have been absorbed into mainstream nursing by the Ghana Health Service, teaching by the Ghana Education Service, the local government service, youth in Afforestation by the Forestry Commission and a lot more. Some of them have also gotten and continued to get the opportunity to do temporal jobs with allowance such as serving as polling assistants for the Electoral Commission among others.

So I ask again, can one deny these young ones the opportunity, a year on, to socialize, dance together, share some few bottles of soda, take some kebabs and sausages and together go to churches and mosques to say thank You Abba Father? Obviously NOT!

The enthusiasm is worth it. The happiness is worth it. There are challenges to be dealt with. Yes. Often times, allowances delay, in some instances some people’s allowances have over delayed. The management of the institution is expected to up their game in this light. They can do better and they should sit up. But to the beneficiaries, it is worthy to know that your government owns you and will pay no matter how long it delays, than to sit home like in recent past with no hope. GH₵700.00, the amount paid to them, is not much, but it can and still is doing some changes in the lives of some of these youth.

A worthy CEO

The Akan says no one just wipes off the remains of the good scented medicine after grinding it. The ladle tastes also the sweetness of the soup. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NABCO, Dr. Ibrahim Anyars Imoro, deserves commendations for a good job done. I am certain that this year when he meets his boss, the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia, the man whose office the initiative emanated from,  to give account of his stewardship, the Vice President, though a Muslim, will quote the holy Book of Christians and tell him that “You have fought a good fight”. The handling of NABCO by Dr. Anyars has received praise largely from beneficiaries of the program. Often in this country, CEOs are always in the bad books of their staff. They are maligned for the bad deeds of the organization. For a CEO to receive this level of praise from across the entire spectrum of beneficiaries and staff of the organization defines his firm handling of the organization. Rightfully, let us celebrate the hardworking CEO as we celebrate his successes and achievement at NABCO.

One year on, even political detractors of the government can point to the fact that the NABCO story is a tale of success brewed in the calabash of hard work by the responsible and dedicated sons and daughters of Odomankoma.

A year on! A successful Story! A Worthy enthusiasm! A call for true Celebration!!!

By Nana Kwasi (gilbfrimp@gmail.com)