The Tertiary Education Institution Network (TEIN) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said a comment by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta urging graduates to take up entrepreneurship because the government’s payroll is full, is an indication that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has failed in the area of job creation.
Mr Ofori Atta has revealed that 60 per cent of Ghana’s revenue is spent on salaries and remuneration for workers on the government’s payroll. He described this situation as unsustainable.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on Friday October 15, he said the government is structuring its budget to focus on how to support the youth of this country create their own jobs.
This, he said, will reduce the over-reliance on government for jobs, a situation that will also ensure that the payroll is not overburdened.
Mr Ofori-Atta stated that it is the duty of the government to ensure stability of the currency and also a viable macro economic environment for private businesses to thrive.
This is being done by the government through initiatives such as the Ghana CARES programme (Obaatan Pa), he said.
He told the gathering that “So, the future for you with regards to jobs is the most important thing at this stage. We have gone through a period where most people look for jobs from government etc,.
“That payroll is full because we are spending some 60 per cent of our revenue on remunerating some 650,000 people and that is not sustainable.
“The question then really is has UPSA trained you to be entrepreneurs, and your question will be where the financing is coming from. But you do, in you, have the skills set to be able to do what you have to do.
“Our responsibility as government is to create the environment and the macro stability , currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing.
“This budget that we are going to be doing is going to really focus on the youth and we will have a programme here, looking at the youth and demands and how we can structure, in the next two or three years, the Ghana Obaatanpa Programme to ensure that you become your own bosses and you become entrepreneurs.
Reacting to these comments in a statement, signed by its Deputy National Coordinator, Ekow Djan, TEIN said “Ghana’s Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta indicated to the graduating class of the University of Professional Studies and Ghanaian youth in general that the government’s payroll is full— making it unsustainable for government to keep adding to employment figures in the public sector.
“First of all, the comment from the Finance Minister is demoralizing to the teeming Ghanaian youth who are going through the education system in order to graduate and have the opportunity to serve their motherland in the public sector. It leaves students hopeless after years of burning the midnight oil.
|Secondly, the comment exposes President Akufo-Addo’s abysmal performance in the area of employment. It clearly indicates that the government has not been able to absorb the hundred thousand (100,000) graduates who come out of the university every year. These graduates, as a result of government’s inability to employ them, are dumped into the unemployment bin for them to struggle for their survival.
“Over the years, the NPP’s Akufo-Addo administration has touted itself as being able to employ over two million Ghanaians into the public sector only to be exposed by the figures that the total number of persons on the government payroll is six hundred and fifty thousand (650000).
“Indeed the 2million jobs the NPP claim to have created are non-existent; which is usual of their fabrications, lies and deceptions.
“It is pathetic to note that with a population 30.8 million citizens, only 650000 have their names on government payroll. Assuming without admitting that about 4 million Ghanaians are into private businesses, a sizable number of about 28 million are unemployed and/or dependent. This a worrying situation which needs the attention of every Ghanaian to speak truth to power that the government of President Akufo-Addo has failed.
“None should be lied to that President Akufo-Addo has created an enabling environment for private businesses to strive. In fact, the NPP as party that believes in capitalism has succeeded in collapsing businesses more than it has created— from the collapsing of 7 banks, 347 microfinance institutions etc. to the introduction of nuisance taxes such as Borla tax, COVID tax, increase in VAT, NHIL, GETFUND Levy etc.
“Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has done little in employment of graduates into the public sector. He has been unable to create PERMANENT jobs for Ghanaian youth. More hurtfully, he has succeeded in making the Ghanaian economy hostile for business development. It is very difficult to create a sustainable business in Ghana under Akufo-Addo.
“Recently, our counterparts in TESCON submitted a petition to the Chief of Staff, Hon. Frema Opare to intervene for government to give them job opportunities. The call was in order. Unemployment is a serious issue which should be addressed holistically devoid of partisanship; it is a security threat.
“As a people, we must be bold to call out President Akufo-Addo to offer job opportunities for the Ghanaian youth. We should hold his pledge of providing jobs to account. We must never forget the NPP’s theme for their 2016 manifesto ‘Change: An Agenda for Jobs.’ Where are the jobs, Mr. President?”