Job creation has become a major concern for successive governments. Almost every governments' priority is to seeing that the youth are employed. Between 1992 and 2018, Governments of Ghana (GOG) have not been able to find a lasting antidote to unemployment and job creation. Government and successive governments have had headaches to create jobs. They have swallowed all the kinapharma analgesics so they can have that relief to create jobs but unemployment has developed immunity to all those antibiotics. These struggles from Government and it agencies are enough signals to tell the people that, government have no business to creating jobs. Government must understand that he is not a job creator but a service provider. The citizenry also could not fathom out that government cannot create sustainable jobs for the youth, especially for the undergraduates, yet government would not stop surprising us with huge employment figures of thousands and millions as if everyone in the country is employed or will be employed in the next few weeks.
The Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS 6) of the Ghana Statistical (GSS) revealed that the unemployment rate in 2013 is 5.2% of the working population. In 2017, the Ghana Statistical Service also said the unemployment in 2015 is 11.9%. Ever since these data were churned out for public consumption, no consistent unemployment data have been released for policy formulation. It is interesting to know that Ghana has no employment data and no government seems to have the interest. Even though Ghana’s economy keeps growing, employment response to that growth is puny. The employment situation has not improved despite better economic growth, macro-economic stability and other numerous rolled out policies. A World Bank data showed that, 48% of Ghanaian youths are unemployed which is among the highest in the world. As government tries to find solutions to the unemployment menace, the solutions creates more unemployed individuals.
The Cooked Employment Figures from Governments
Former President John A. Kufour in its 2008 state of the Nation Address on Thursday 14th February said, his administration has created 200,000 jobs in 2007 and 120,000 in 2006. Please do not forget the Youth Fund with $50 million seed money and the National Youth Employment Programme, which rolled out about 7different programmes by the President. We couldn’t account for that money ever since.
Again, on 14th September 2009, the Chronicle Newspaper reported that, “PRESIDENT JOHN Evans Atta Mills will on Friday launch a programme that seeks to create 10,000 jobs for Ghanaians in the various sectors of the economy. This is in fulfillment of the pledge made by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to create jobs for the unemployed youth in the country” The Former President John Evans Atta Mills once again reported by Ghana News Agency (GNA), “directed Ministers of State to produce sector blueprints for job creation by June 2010. In addition; all sectors should mainstream job-creation into their programmes. These are part of a grand scheme for job creation, promised in the manifesto of the ruling Government”. President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, also assured Ghanaians of more jobs as a move to expand the country’s economy with the arrival of the $3 billion Chinese Development Bank loan. Speaking at the 2012 May Day celebrations at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region, President Mills said “the Chinese Exim Bank loan will also be channeled into various sectors of the economy that will eventually lead to human resource development”.
On Wednesday 4th December, 2013, former President John Mahama revealed that 3,000 jobs opportunities will be created with the completion of the Takoradi Port Expansion project, during a sod cutting ceremony for the port Expansion. In June 2014, the Ministry of Trade and Industry reserved $10 million as seed money for the implementation of the Youth Enterprise Scheme (YES) of lots of Youths with achievable Business Plans were given seed monies to start implementing their projects with the hopes of creating jobs. Where is that money? Again, in April 25, 2016 a statement signed by the then Minister of Communication, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah also with alacrity said the government have created over 600,000 jobs since 2013. President John Dramani Mahama in October, 2016 said, on his website “Together with a new NDC Government, I will deliver the most ambitious job creation plan for our country. We will implement the Economic Transformation and Livelihood Empowerment Programme (ETLEP), an Initiative that will generate at least 3 million direct and indirect jobs.”
President Nana Addo and his Magical Employment Data
Within six months of taking office by New Patriotic Party (NPP), the government committed over GH¢ 2.5 billion for job creation. This is because one of the major election promises of the NPP was job creation. The 2018 budget and policy statement presented to parliament and read by the finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday 15th, November, 2017 touted that over 3000 young people have been employed under planting for food and job programme. As if that is not enough, government is to employ 100,000 graduates in 2018 under the Nation Builder Corps. Another 15,000 jobs are expected to be created under the Marine Drive Project. On 23rd November 2017, the Forestry Commission announced to offer 15,000 jobs January 2018. This was made known at the signing of a service agreement between the Forestry Commission and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA). The employees will receive a monthly salary of GH¢ 400.00 ($ 95. 00)
Between November 2017 and January 2018, the Agriculture Ministry announced to the public that, 745,000 jobs created in its first year yet, the programme was launched in 19th April, 2017. On Thursday, 22 June 2017 the government tabled $100 million for the National Employment and Implementation Plan(NEIP), to build new graduates and unemployed youths to acquire entrepreneurial skills. Within 10 months, the Ministry responsible to managed NEIP fund, Business Development, and the Minister Ibrahim Awal, has also praised himself for creating over 20,000 and hoping to create 230,000 jobs as it target. He said this at the UK - Ghana Camber of Commence Investment Summit in London.
Another revelation has been made by the Vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on 22nd April 2018 at the University of Education, Winneba that, 100,000 jobs to be created under the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) initiative and will be launched May 1, 2018. He further posited that, “You have 7 modules that are going to be outdoored: The Feed Ghana module where you want to have people who would go in as agric extension officers to help our farmers. You have the Educate Ghana module where we want people to help in our High schools for teaching especially science and mathematics. The Revenue Ghana module will take graduates into the Ghana Revenue Authority to help in the collection of revenue. You have the Heal Ghana module where you will employ nurses who have been sitting at home for years without jobs; we will be finding them space in the Heal Ghana module.” He continued: “We will have the Enterprise Ghana module where you will assign graduates to various private sector enterprises for jobs and skills training as well as development. Then you have the Digitise Ghana module where graduates will be sent to the IT sector for the Digital Ghana agenda, the transformation agenda, where they will be attached to the NIA or to the Ghana Post or to the Birth and Death Registry or to the Land Registry. They will be doing digitisation work for this country. “We also have the Governance Ghana module where people will be attached to various local authorities”. Former President J. A. Kufour also enrolled 7 modules but couldn’t create the needed jobs and the New NPP is again repeating History.
Who are we to challenge these data or to verify if they are measurable and making impact? We all accept the data because this information cannot be authenticated and government always punches and slaps us with these job creation numerals and still unemployment keep soaring. This is a crystal clear of cooked employment data from governments and we must not trust the government as a job creator. If all those employment data from successive governments are real, why is youth unemployment growing like a newly sprouted neem tree?
Peter Bismark Is a policy analyst at ILAPI.
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