General News of Saturday, 14 February 2015
Deputy Employment and Labour Minister has had to dig deep to defend a new youth employment law after facing a skeptical panel on Joy FM news analysis programme, Newsfile.
Baba Jamal’s confidence that the new Youth Employment Agency (YEA) a successor agency to GYEEDA will not end up as a powerful mistake.
Outlining the basis of his confidence, he said politicization, the absence of a legal framework and low caliber of staff that gutted GYEEDA have been addressed in this new law which was passed by Parliament Wednesday.
“The politics of it was just too much. Now it is going to have a CEO and board. It used to be at the whims of the minister”, a buoyant Baba Jamal explained.
However, Managing editor of New Crusading Guide newspaper Kweku Baako “has serious difficulty” with the claim that it was the lack of institutional framework that created room for corruption, greed and mismanagement at GYEEDA.
“We should not create the impression that the absence of those things created [the problems] that is a fallacy. There was no way you could get goods and services without going through the procurement law. The laws were there”, he said.
Baako said GYEEDA even without a law was under a Ministry which had laws regulating all of its activities.
Host Samson Lardy Anyenini wanted to know how Government planned to cure the level of politicization at GYEEDA by bringing in a Bill that initially empowered regional ministers in the ten regions to chair regional committees under the YEA.
Baba Jamal said that provision was taken out during debate on the floor of the house. Under amended provisions, Regional ministers can appoint two persons to the YEA regional committees while DCEs can also appoint two at the district level.
For Samson, the initial Bill that planned to give Regional ministers chairmanship roles proves that Government was not really committed to minimizing political control.
Latching on to a hard line of questioning, Kofi Bentil of policy think-tank IMANI said he is not convinced with the new look of GYEEDA. He worries that “plain cronyism” that plagued the organization, will be the story five years from today.
However, an optimistic Baba Jamal expressed satisfaction that after an unprecedented nine committees on the Bill, the YEA is now poised to deliver on its mandate of dealing with a national security threat – youth unemployment.