YEA Purges 20,000 Ghost Names

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

THE MINISTER of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has revealed that a total of 20,000 “ghost workers” of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) have been removed from the public sector payroll as part of effort to crackdown on corruption.

According to him, payments to the non-existent employees, which were discovered after an audit conducted by YEA over the past three years, cost the government GH¢82.5 million.

Addressing the maiden Nation Building Updates in Accra, the Information Minister praised the YEA for its due diligence in unearthing the fictitious names and saving the national purse of such a huge sum.

The event, which featured presentations of achievements by the various youth agencies in the country, was held on the theme: “Leadership That Delivers for the Youth.”

The participating agencies were the National Youth Authority, Youth Employment Agency, Nation Builders Corps, National Board for Small Scale Industries, National Service Scheme, and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan.

Mr. Nkrumah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi in the Eastern Region, noted it was not surprising that President Akufo-Addo, through the various youth agencies, had impacted the lives of more than 2.5 million young people through direct interventions.

“If you take programme by programme, and agency by agency, from where they have come from and heading for, there is no doubt that President Akufo-Addo has done massively for the youth [of this country]. These young CEOs have not disappointed the President and are delivering in their various positions,” he said after they had dangled before the public unparalleled achievements.

He urged the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the agencies to continuously make a difference in empowering the youth, asserting that this would encourage other young people occupying positions in government to perform.

The CEO of NaBCo, Dr. Ibrahim Anyars, said the agency had begun transition to permanent job offering from work and learning programmes as the scheme approaches its second anniversary.

“This initiative (NaBCo) is to assist address graduate unemployment through a work and learning programme by placing them into work to gain experience, value addition through training and human capital development so that the trainees would be ready for opportunities of permanent employment (sic).”

The CEO of YEA, Justin Kodua Frimpong, who detailed out numerous interventions and policy initiatives by his outfit, said about 145,000 jobs had been created over the past three years.

He mentioned some of the policies of the YEA Jobcentre, which connects job seekers to employers, as the Artisan Directory, Youth in Elite Sports, School Support Programme, and the Flagship Programme.

According to him, besides the job creation, the agency had renovated its offices and constructed new regional offices in the newly created regions.

He also touched on the savings made on the national purse since the coming into office of the Akufo-Addo administration.

The CEO of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), John Kumah, also said the government had supported 9,350 businesses with funds to make them competitive and viable, aside from a number of projects embarked upon, including the training of 10,000 students under the student entrepreneurship initiative.

The NYA CEO, Sylvester Tetteh, disclosed that the government had trained 3,000 young people in online digital marketing and entrepreneurship programmes, while another 5,000 young people had had their skills developed in youth entrepreneurship programmes.

By Ernest Kofi Adu