Member of Parliament for Afadzato South says government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme has mainly focused on supporting farmers with inputs without a deliberate policy to get more people employed.
Angela Oforiwaa Alorwu-Tay contributing to a debate on the 2018 budget statement in Parliament said she is not surprised that the policy launched this year is not creating the expected jobs.
“The inputs that are being supplied are supplied to people who are already into farming. No expansion of coverage in most cases...would that have resulted in the creation of more jobs? No wonder the 2018 budget does into give us the figures according to the promise,” the MP noted.
President Akuffo-Addo at the launch of the programme in the Brong Ahafo Region announced that it will help create 750,000 jobs.
But the MP who is not convinced that is possible is also predicting government’s one-district one-factory project will not do much to help expand the industry sector and create more jobs.
“In 2017, not even a single factory was constructed in any district. But the industry sector is expected to grow by 17.7 percent this year.
"Next year 2018 when we are expecting more than 191 industries under the one-district one factory to come on stream and provide jobs, industry growth is expected to fall to 9.4 percent,” she observed.
“The expected fall in the growth of the industry sector means the NPP government itself is convinced the industries will not come on stream and provide more jobs for the youth of this country,” she added.
Alorwu-Tay also chastised government for plans to introduce the National Builders Corp at the office of the President to provide 100,000 jobs for young people in the country.
“We wish every programme well but it is time for us as a country to focus on improving the old programmes that we have instead of creating new ones. Let’s build on and not always bring new things,” she said.
The MP described the 2018 budget statement which is under the theme; “Putting Ghana Back to work” as both an irony and a statement of deceit.
“Reading through this budget statement, there is nothing in it that gives any form of assurance that one year from now, the teeming unemployed youth of our country will be back to work.
"Unless there is some other grand plan beneath the government’s sleeves that it intends launching or outdooring or cutting the sod for that we have not seen yet,” she noted.
But the Deputy Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Bright Wereko Brobby, insists the budget has a lot of goodies for the country in 2018.
“Our colleagues from the other side are trying to paint the picture as if Ghana is falling. That is not so...indeed, a solid foundation has been laid in the 2017 budget and we are seeking to make more gains in the 2018 budget,” he noted whilst contributing to the debate.
Mr Wereko Brobby mentioned government recently launched $10 million National Entrepreneurial Innovation Plan which provides capital to help young people start their businesses as an indication that government is on course to help create more jobs.
“People are getting jobs and we must give them hope and let them know that the 2018 budget will even provide more for them,” he said.
The Deputy Minister added that 10,000 young people have been employed to help undertake artificial cocoa, assuring 30,000 more will benefit next year.
He said thousands of youth will also get jobs in environmental protection, youth farming as well as afforestation initiatives.
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