President Akufo-Addo has hit back at critics who downplayed the impact of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) initiative.
Nana Akufo-Addo says the initiative will go a long way to partly address the current unemployment situation in the country.
Speaking at the passing out ceremony for the 100,000 NABCo recruits in Accra on Wednesday, he said he is optimistic the country will benefit from the talents of the NABCo graduates.
“As has become the norm with every bold initiative proposed by this administration, this programme, predictably, was not only ridiculed in certain quarters but also met with pessimistic and cynical comments with some going to the extent of urging graduates from our nations tertiary institutions not to register for the programme. In NABCO, we have planted the seeds of growth and future of our country. I am in no doubt whatsoever that NABCO will succeed,” he added.
NABCo, which was launched IN May 2018, runs under six modules namely Educate Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Heal Ghana, Enterprise Ghana, Digital Ghana, Feed Ghana and Civic Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo also said government will find other avenues to find jobs for the youth.
“This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. It is a day when we begin the process of banishing the specter of desperation and restoring hope and dignity to our youth,” he added.
Work hard, GH¢700 not free
The recruits will be GHc700 as a monthly stipend.
Akufo-Addo urged them to put up their possible best within the various fields they will be assigned to.
“…you must bear in mind that government is investing some GH¢3 billion cedis of taxpayers’ money into this programme. Your monthly GH¢700 is not free money, and you must earn every pesewa of it which I’m confident you’ll do,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo introduced the Nation Builder’s Corps as an alternative job creation opportunity for the country’s jobless graduates.
The programme also forms part of government’s commitment towards addressing the high unemployment in the country.
The programme, which will be managed by the office of the President, will focus on alleviating shortfalls in public service delivery.
Trainee nurses, midwives kick against NABCO
But the Ghana Nurses and Midwife Trainees Association, are unhappy with the programme saying government should employ them permanently instead of recruiting them on NABCO.
In May, the Public Relations Officer of the Association, Akugri Gaddafi, stated on Eyewitness News that the remuneration package for nurses in the programme is unfair, suggesting that newly-employed certificate nurses earn about 1, 100 cedis, while diploma and degree nurses earn between 1, 600 cedis and 1, 800 cedis, all much higher than the 700 cedis persons employed under the scheme are set to earn.
NaBCo jobs not compulsory – Coordinator tells agitated nurses
The Coordinator of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo), Dr. Ibrahim Anyass, has stated that although there are openings for graduate nurses to be employed under the scheme, application for the jobs is not compulsory.
According to him, the project had been initiated by the government as a stopgap measure to allow graduates from tertiary institutions who had completed their mandatory year of National Service gain vital work experience while ensuring that they continue to practice the skills they have learnt.
He thus explained that that nurses who do not wish to be part of the scheme cannot be forced to apply.
The opposition National Democratic Congress has also said the initiative is not sustainable.