The National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) is indebted to the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to the tune of GHÃ‚Â¢26 million, being monies on-lent by the bank to
NYEP to meet its regular monthly allowances to the youth employees.
The situation has made it difficult for NYEP to source funding to clear the backlog of four months arrears, currently running at around GHÃ‚Â¢13.5 million.
Deputy National Coordinator in charge of Finance, Alhaji Sulemana Ibrahim, told B&FT that the inability of NYEP to pay the arrears was due to accumulated debt owed to the ADB, making other financial institutions unwilling to lend money for the Programme to honour its financial obligations.
“The Agriculture Development Bank has indicated to us that they have reached their limit and cannot lend beyond the GHÃ‚Â¢26 million we owe them,” Alhaji Sulemana Ibrahim said in an interview.
The arrears owed the youth employees remained unpaid from November 2009 up to February this year, causing a diminishing effect on the productivity of the personnel engaged in the various modules of the Programme.
Alhaji Sulemana said the NYEP spends GHÃ‚Â¢4.5 million monthly as payment for allowances to its employees, but indicated that allowances continue to accumulate arrears due to the lack of any legislation to mandate them to receive money from the various sources of funding for the Programme.
The National Youth Employment Programme draws 10 percent of its resources from the National Health Insurance Scheme, 10 percent from the GETFund, 15 percent from the District Assembly Common Fund, and 20 percent from the Communication Service Tax while the rest comes from the government budget.
Alhaji Sulemana thus attributed the inability of NYEP to regularly pay its employees to the difficulties in getting funding from these sources, primarily due to the lack of the needed legislation to support them.
He cited that NYEP was supposed to get GHÃ‚Â¢38 million from the National Health Insurance Scheme in 2009, but only GHÃ‚Â¢1 million was realised. A GHÃ‚Â¢15million Multi Donor Relief Initiative (MDRI) support grant to which NYEP was entitled to did not materialise.
The Communication Service Tax (Talk Tax) was to pay GHÃ‚Â¢34 million but paid only GHÃ‚Â¢8.6 million, and the GETFund which was supposed to pay GHÃ‚Â¢28 million released only GHÃ‚Â¢8 million.
The Deputy National Coordinator said though the Communication Service Tax (Talk Tax) was introduced purposely to pay personnel of the NYEP, only 20 percent is allocated, which he described as inadequate, adding that proposals to increase it to 70 percent have not yet received any positive response.
The National Youth Employment Programme has however introduced new modules, one of them known as the Eco Brigade, which will be run in conjunction with Zoom Lion Ghana Limited and will be responsible for cleaning the beaches, and also a new module to train the youth in hairdressing and catering.
The programme also seeks to introduce innovative transformation in existing modules, such as giving opportunity to health extension workers under the programme to undergo a two-year in-service training that would fully qualify them into mainstream State Registered Nursing level.
As part of efforts to absorb dedicated personnel under the National Youth Employment Programme into mainstream security services, about 500 names have been received to be trained and incorporated into the Ghana Police Service, whilst priorities are also being given in other security services except the armed forces.
About 2,000 jobs have been created currently under its paid internship programme, and another 100,000 jobs are expected to be created by the end of this year.