The Speaker of Parliament was forced to suspend debate on key aspects of the controversial Youth Employment Agency Bill after the Minority claimed that some funding provisions encouraged corruption.

Although article 252, clause 23 makes available 80% communications service tax, 15% of the District Assembly Common Fund and 5% of GETFUND as sources of funds in the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA), Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Elton John Brobbey reported.

The contention is more pronounced over a provision which permits managers of the agency to raise funds through gifts and donations.

Another clause in the Bill empowers the various political heads in each region, including regional ministers and district chief executives to determine who benefits from the agency.

Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Baba Jamal does not see anything wrong with the funding provisions.

Baba Jamal

He insists that “grants and gifts are normal provisions put into this Bill. It is a normal procedure in making Bills.”

He explained that Parliament was only being asked to legislate on “something that is practically being done”.

But GYEEDA’s corruption-ridden past appears to be haunting the passage of the bill. GYEEDA has become a staple example used by the Minority to highlight corruption and mismanagement in Ghana.

Against this background former Minister for Youth and Employment and NPP MP Papa Owusu Ankomah is not convinced that the funding provisions will be used judiciously.

Papa Owusu Ankomah

“If we legalise this expenditure, we can assure you  that the rape of the nation’s resources through that agency” will continue, he said on the floor of parliament.