As Gov’t Flip-flops On what To Do with Programme
The Akufo-Addo government, appears confused at what to do with the beneficiaries of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) programme, as it keeps issuing dismissal letters and withdrawing the same the next day.
Few days ago, the Ministry for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, sent home beneficiaries of the programme working with it, but the same ministry is now asking members of the public to disregard the said dismissal letter dated January 21, 2022 and signed by Dedaa Owireku Agyei, Director of Human Resources at the Chieftaincy Ministry.
Ahead of the Christmas, government has been unable to pay them allowances due to the country’s precarious financial situation, which had prompted the National Coordinator of the Programme, Dr Ibrahim Anyars, to indicate there would be no extension of the 3-year contract of the trainees, but later beat a hasty retreat just Chieftaincy Ministry.
In some instances, beneficiaries are owed five to six months’ salary arrears by the government.
There are, however, reports that the beneficiaries mainly supporters of the New Patriotic Party are not at their various posts, but pocketing the cash. Others have called for a forensic audit to determine who deserves the cash.
According to the new letter circulating on social media and reported by mainstream media, the Director of Human Resource at the ministry, on the minister’s instructions, addressed a letter to registrars of the ministry to relieve NABCO trainees of duty.
“This is to kindly inform you that the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) programme ended at the end of October 2021. Unfortunately, the information reaching the Hon. Minister indicates that some Trainees are still at post. You are kindly requested to relieve the trainees of their current duties and allow them exit the service,” the letter said.
In a new letter addressed to the registrars and signed by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr Benjamin Afful, the ministry asked that the content of the initial letter be disregarded.
“You are hereby informed that the ministry has not taken any decision in relation to the retention or otherwise of NABCO trainees, and as you are aware, it is a government policy that NABCO trainees having gained some level of experience be given the opportunity for placement as part of the exit plan.
“Kindly disregard the letter being circulated,” the new letter dated January 26, 2022, said. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo introduced the Nation Builders Corps programme to solve youth unemployment in the country.
The flip-flopping suggests the programme was a knee jerk reaction to the youth unemployment in the country.
The policy, which started in 2018, saw some 100,000 trainees sign a three-year employment contract that was to end on Sunday, October 31, 2021.
Upon the contract’s expiration, the government issued a directive to all institutions with the trainees attached to their outfits to maintain the NABCO personnel until it resolves on a final resolution on the policy.
In November last year, the NABCO Secretariat directed trainees of the programme to remain at post.
The directive, it said, came after a high-level consultation with implementation partners led by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare.
Dr. Ibrahim Anyars, indicated that there would be no extension of the 3-year contract of the trainees.
He even announced the exit plan for the trainees under the programme.
The notice dated November 15, 2021, said, “Following a high-level Stakeholder meeting with the lead NABCO Module Implementation Partners (MIPs) led by His Excellency the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana and The Honourable Chief of Staff, all NABCO trainees are required to remain at post.”
The notice was unclear for how long the trainees are expected to remain at post, but the statement said it will be until “permanent arrangements” are made.
The statement said, “NABCO Secretariat expects trainees to continue to discharge their duties diligently and professionally at their various workplaces whilst the scheme and the MIPs work towards a smooth final transition.”
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