Gov’t’s attempt to create jobs yielded no results – Ricketts-Hagan

Cape Coast South Law maker Kwaku Ricketts-Hagan has casts doubts over the ability of the Akufo-Addo administration to create the one million jobs it has promised in the 2021 mid-year budget.

He said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 31 that the government has attempted several measures to tackle the growing unemployment rate in the country.

However, in his view, those initiatives have not yielded any results.

His comments come after the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has announced the setting up of a scheme to help the youth set up businesses across the country.

To be referred to as ‘Youth Banc’, the scheme will be championed by the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund (EYSF).

Addressing members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday, July 29 as part of the presentation on the mid-year review of the 2021 budget, Mr  Ofori-Atta admitted that the issue of employment and jobs for the youth has been a worry to the government.

This, he stressed, has been exacerbated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Therefore, Mr Ofori-Atta said government is easing the restrictions in the private sector to enable businesses expand and create jobs for the youth.

“We aim to empower our youth to be at ease and venture into business.”

He said government has targeted a ‘1-million Jobs’ initiative to aggressively respond to the needs of the youth.

“Mr. Speaker, the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund, which aligns with Government’s overall strategy of developing a competitive and viable private sector economy, will Set up a ‘Youth banc’ with the aim of financing youth-led start-up businesses across the country.

“As part of this initiative, an online investment hub will be established for youth across the country to access information for the purpose of establishing businesses.

“Under this initiative, it is estimated that over 100,000 jobs will be created.”

But Mr Ricktes-Hagan who is a former Deputy Minister of Finance said said “You will notice that unemployment is a time bomb for all of us and whichever political party that is in power if you don’t address the youth unemployment we are going to have some serious problems.

“If you look at what they have done in the last few years this is not the first time they are addressing unemployment and youth unemployment but it has not yielded much results.

“If you look at the Planting for Food and Jobs, it was supposed to create jobs  for everyone but much emphasis and focus on the youth . If you look at one district one factory it is supposed to create jobs for everyone  with much emphasis on the youth. The government says they have absorbed 100,000 of graduate unemployed.”

For his part, a Deputy Minister of Finance Mr John Kumah said the one million jobs expected to be created for the youths of this country will not be in the government sector.

He said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 30 that the government is going to work with the private sector to make those jobs available.

“When we talk about one million jobs we are not talking about jobs in the government sector.

“We are going to do that through a number of government agencies the National Entrepreneurship Programme, the Ghana Enterprises Agency and the Youth Employment agencies. So we are going to push for job creation in the private sector as well,” the Ejisu lawmaker told host of the programme Abena Tabi.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana