General News of Sunday, 15 February 2015
Anti-corruption crusader, Sydney Casely-Hayford has stated that the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA), formerly known as the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), should not have been set up in the first place to warrant a continuation by both the Kufuor and Mills-Mahama governments.
He indicated that the programme only sought to create a parallel module of the existing National Vocational Training Institutes (NVTIs).
“GYEEDA’s problem from the very beginning was the fact that we set up a parallel module for which the National Vocational Training Institutes were doing. It should not have come into play, and it should never have been continued,” he remarked.
Parliament has passed the new GYEEDA bill and it is currently waiting for approval from the President for it to become law.
This was after the President referred the bill to Parliament to give GYEEDA a legal backing, as well as help restructure its operations following the huge corruption scandal that rocked the Agency.
The bill faced stiff opposition from the Minority in Parliament and sections of the general public who were of the view that the GYEEDA programme be completely scrapped.
The Minority also demanded the full prosecution of all indicted persons in the GYEEDA scandal before the bill was considered and passed by the House.
But last week, legislators passed the new GYEEDA bill by voice vote.
Sharing his thoughts on the matter on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, Casely-Hayford argued that be it NYEP, GYEEDA or new GYEEDA, they are all creating parallel modules to the NVTIs.
According to him, the NVTIs were set up “to train the youth, absorb the youth, give them certification to do what is right for them to be able to sustain their employment.”
He has thus recommended that the funds which will be pumped into the new GYEEDA must rather be channelled into equipping and developing the operations of NVTIs nationwide.
“Go back to the original thoughts, build the NVTI in such a way that we will get certified artisans who are going to be capable being given a job and looking for work,” he said.
Casely-Hayford added that the nation is not in need of persons certified to fill potholes on our streets, but rather, “people who are certified in carpentry, plumbing and in electronics.”
He argued that since the government was able to determine what was wrong with GYEEDA and how “it had been corrupted and used as a conduit for corruption, “…don’t go back and try and cloak it through the back door and bring back the very same things that were wrong.”
The newly passed bill, he said, “shows that what we have is a government that does not see and feel any remorse for what has been done and how the GYEEDA scandal came about.”
“I think that a sincere government that really wants to see a turnaround in how corruption is handled would at least take up the issue of the further investigation in GYEEDA,” he added.