As the failing economy hits Ghanaians hard, with its attendant increase in the rate of unemployment, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is creating a job avenue for its teeming supporters.
The NDC said available job opportunities in the public sector should be filled by party foot-soldiers, especially at a time when there is a net freeze on employment.
The ‘no-party-card no-job’ move, analysts believe, is part of the ruling party’s strategy to address unemployment among its rank and file, ahead of election 2016.
NDC Chairman, Kofi Portuphy, yesterday announced that the party had set up a committee to create jobs for party members.
Known as the Business Development Committee and chaired by Trade and Industry Minister Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the committee was set up to address the cries of unemployed party members who have been yearning for jobs.
Announcing the formation of the new committee at the party headquarters in Accra, Kofi Portuphy explained the need to empower party members with jobs.
He said the committee would look at ‘available opportunities for our people, for ourselves, to create jobs in the private sector and possibly in the public sector as well for our people.’
The announcement is coming at a time an embargo has been placed on public sector employment, following harsh IMF conditionalities.
The NDC chairman observed that ‘people are crying for jobs; we have a number of our people who have shown great initiative and have established a number of businesses and we can use their experiences to influence the creation of jobs for our party.’
He indicated that creating jobs for NDC members from the national level through to the constituency level had been of great concern to him.
He was convinced that undertaking this initiative ‘can empower them, we can strengthen them – both men and women so that they can earn an income and sustain the activities of our party; particularly, attending funerals, attending outdoorings, attending weddings, and many social activities.’
‘We would like to see development particularly for our people,’ he stressed.
However, Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea told Citi Fm the NDC’s policy was ‘mind-boggling’ and in complete violation of the country’s Constitution and the governing party’s 2012 manifesto.
‘There are over 1,000 things wrong with it… the constitution, even in the NDC manifesto and constitution, you will find out that they talk about anti-discrimination and I can’t believe that the ruling party will actually put forth this proposition before Ghanaians,’ he said.
According to him, there were millions of unemployed Ghanaian youth who urgently needed jobs and as such if the NDC wanted to create jobs for every citizen irrespective of political affiliation, that would have been a ‘good trade, but why are we going to create it for only the NDC people?’
The Business Development Committee is one of the numerous committees which have been created by the NDC to deal with various issues, as a means to help develop the party ahead of the 2016 elections.
The committees which have been inaugurated so far include the political committee headed by President John Mahama, election committee, economic committee, social services committee, communication committee, disciplinary committee, complaints committee and the legal committee.
The political committee was inaugurated yesterday with Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and other NDC gurus such as former chairman Kwabena Adjei, current chairman Kofi Portuphy, deputy secretary Koku Anyidoho, Foreign Minister Hanna Tetteh, Prof Kwamena Awhoi ,Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Alhaji Hudu Yahya, Kofi Adams, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Dan Abodakpi, Haruna Iddrisu, Faustina Nelson, Alban Bagbin, Hajia Mahama and Bede Ziedeng as members.
Meanwhile, NDC general secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia has stated that the Agbogbomefia of Asogli, Togbe Afede XIV, had earlier given his consent to be a member of the economic committee of the party.
According to him, an emissary who was sent to the chief to inform him about the party’s decision to include him in the committee came back with an affirmative response.
But the Chief said he never agreed to join the committee since his role as a chief barred him from active politics.
‘I am currently in London and just read the news of my appointment onto the committee online. I am sorry I cannot accept the offer because the Constitution does not permit chiefs to engage in politics,’ Togbe Afede told the media.
However, Asiedu Nketia told Kasapa FM that the party was under the impression that the chief had agreed to be part of the committee.
‘We deliberately sent someone to inform him of our intention to include him in the committee and the indication we had was positive,’ he said.
A DAILY GUIDE Report
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