Confusion has erupted between Vincent Kuagbenu, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), formerly known as Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA), and the outgoing boss, Kobby Akyeampong.
The regional heads of the agency appear not to be in support of the President’s decision to re-assign both men.
While Kobby Akyeampong, who was accused of slapping a blind staff of YEA in-charge of the Disability Desk, Jacob Adongo, last Friday, has been moved to GIFEC, the former National Service Secretariat (NSS) boss, Kuagbenu, is in-charge of the rationalisation and re-registration of government vehicles.
But things were said to have gone bad when ‘no-nonsense’ Kuagbenu was reported to have stormed the head office of YEA in Accra last Friday, making the regional directors question his action.
In a statement issued over the weekend by the Conference of Regional Directors of Youth Employment Agency (CORDOY), which bore the signatures of James Opoku-Worae, Nana Osiebi Quansah, Nurudeen Saani Mohammed and Joseph Nelson, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Upper West and Western Regional Directors of the agency respectively, they indicated that ‘even before he assumes office he is on record to have stormed the head office yesterday (Friday) to actually have hot exchanges with Kwabena Owusu Akyeampong.’
They claimed, ‘He has already aligned himself with some staff members who were part of the old management and were even indicted in the GYEEDA report at head office to create a mess by openly supporting a demonstration against the acting executive director and threatening that when he finally assumes office, he will make sure he reverses all that the acting executive director has put in place for the agency to take off.’
This position of his, they said, ‘will take the agency many steps back, which could have serious repercussions for the agency and the country as a whole.’
According to the regional directors, they foresee danger looming if Kuagbenu ‘is allowed to take over the leadership of the agency following the mess he caused at NSS when he was the boss, which led to his sacking and the unfortunate signals we are getting even at this point when he is yet to take over.’
With what they termed as ‘the bad blood he has created between himself and the outgoing head,’ they wondered, ‘how is he going to be helped to properly take over and make the needed impact?’
The Conference of Regional Directors of the agency has therefore asked the presidency to ‘halt the planned re-assignment, as a matter of urgency, to save the image of the agency and to allow the current executive director continue with the good work he has started before Vincent Kuagbenu plunges the agency into another scandal as he did with the National Service Scheme.’
They claimed that under the leadership of Kobby Akyeampong, the agency had gone through proper re-structuring, part of which gave birth to the Youth Employment Act, Act 887, which allowed for the training of staff on customised monitoring and evaluation.
Aside that, they said, ‘We now have functioning and helpful legal and audit departments with the agency which were previously not there.’
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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