The management of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) is to clear the three-month outstanding salary arrears due its beneficiaries in July this year.

This is to put to rest agitation by the beneficiaries over delays in the payment of salaries.

Some employees of the NYEP claim they have not been paid for a period ranging from six to seven months, but the National Co-ordinator of the programme, Mr Abuga Pele, has debunked that assertion, explaining that what is owed the employees is arrears for only three months.

He told in Accra Monday that those purporting to be employees of the NYEP who went to the media to make allegations of non-payment of allowances were not genuine beneficiaries but rather “mischievous individuals who are out there playing politics”.

Explaining further, Mr Pele said the problem had nothing to do with the lack of funds but rather beneficiaries who failed to furnish management with the necessary documentation after the programme’s periodic head counting exercise.

Recently, the NYEP embarked on a nation-wide head count to ascertain the actual number of beneficiaries in the programme to eliminate ghost names from the payroll.

After the exercise, employees were directed to provide some updated information on themselves to the NYEP Headquarters in Accra.

The directive, Mr Pele said, was not adhered to, for which reason those whose data were not captured were deemed as non-employees of the NYEP and, therefore, ceased to receive further allowances until that anomaly was rectified.

He stated that the NYEP had installed new software to automatically get rid of all anomalies on its payroll vouchers.

He added that about GH¢400,000 of unclaimed allowances were retrieved in the recent head-count exercise.

About 5,000 ghost names, he said, were also eliminated during the exercise, an action that would be sustained to clean the system.
Touching on current employment figures, the national co-ordinator said there were currently 457,779 beneficiaries, which was 400 per cent higher than the 2008 figure.

It is envisaged that 300,000 people would be recruited under the Youth Enterprise Programme to be financed by the World Bank by the end of 2012.

The NYEP has also developed an exit plan which serves as a launch pad for beneficiaries who have worked for the mandatory two years to be absorbed into permanent employment in state organisations.

So far, about 3,000 of such beneficiaries have been given permanent jobs, with support from the programme.

Mr Pele indicated that about 300 beneficiaries had been absorbed into the Ghana Airport Company Limited, explaining that the diversity of modules introduced across the functional spectrum had provided alternative avenues that served as an exit for many employees.

Meanwhile, the NYEP is in the process of establishing a Business Advisory Unit to assist in the registration and drawing of business development plans for its beneficiaries.

The office will also monitor and link beneficiaries to micro-credit schemes and markets under a World Bank project.