Former President John Dramani Mahama has said on major problem that requires immediate resolution is the explosion in unemployment.
He said the spectre of tens of thousands of frustrated and desperate young men and women, running and falling over themselves to apply for very limited positions in security agencies, as recently seen, is most heart breaking and deeply disturbing.
“Unemployment has truly become a national security crisis,” he said at a forum in Accra on Wednesday November 10 as part of his thank you tour.
“Here too,” he said “the government’s approach has been one of nonchalance and the bundying about of dubious employment creation figures. This has been coupled with ad-hoc and unsustainable measures that have led to the throwing back onto the street of tens of thousands of NABCO recruits with virtually no hope of finding sustainable employment.
“At the core of our message to the people of Ghana in 2020 was jobs, because the unemployment issue was staggering. And the youth bulge has surely become a major threat to our country. From all the pillars of our policy planks in the People’s Manifesto – Infrastructure for Growth, Fixing the Economy, Tax cuts for jobs, developing a Digitally Functional Economy among others, our focus was on Jobs and Prosperity for all.
“But for the actions of the Electoral Commission and the Supreme Court of Ghana, an NDC administration would have been in place today, and the implementation of our various peoplecentred policies would have provided you, and all of us, better conditions of living than we see today.
“Unemployment continues to plague our country and it is clear this government has no sustainable plan to address it. The botched NABCO experiment has proven not to be the pathway and the means to an end. We need to come together and face youth unemployment head-on.
“The NDC’s one million (Edwumapa) Jobs Creation Plan, the free TVET and National Apprenticeship Programme as contained in our manifesto are still relevant and available for this government to draw on for implementation. If well implemented, we can create an average of 250,000 jobs every year for the youth of Ghana.
“In our manifesto, we also provided plans to make Ghana a 24-hour economy – with three shifts of 8- hours each a day. Our plan was to aggressively diversify our economy, provide more public sector jobs, enhance productivity and add value to our products for export. This would answer Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – Decent work and Economic Growth.
“When I recently addressed the African Economic Congress, I urged Africa to engage and incentivise technology companies to focus on neglected areas and sectors that will impact the lives of our people such as agribusiness and health.
“I further, encouraged Fintech companies to show more differentiation and diversification instead of the seeming over-concentration on creating payment platforms that are high yielding today. I believe, for example, that telemarketing and online internet shopping will continue to offer opportunities for our youth in the distribution value chain.
“These are not things that I talk about in a vacuum. They are well thought through and structured solutions ready for implementation. On pages 41 and 42 of the abridged version of the 2020 People’s Manifesto, we have laid out how a digitally functional economy will be developed to among others build on the infrastructure needed, train and create jobs, ensure expanded financial inclusion, introduce next generation agriculture, cyber security among others.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana