Minority asks President to retrieve GYEEDA money

Ghana parliamentThe Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament are up in arms with the Government over the GH₵ 1.5 billion financial scandal at Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA).

The NPP has therefore called on President John Dramani Mahama to go the extra mile to retrieve the money.

Alleging malfeasance on the part of the Government, the Minority on Monday dared the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to come clean on the amount, which it said was “fraudulently stolen” from the GYEEDA by individuals and organisations.

“We call on the government to pass this test of corruption for once by implementing the action paper they have issued and ensure that those who have caused Ghana financial loss face the music. Nobody should be covered or sparred,” Mr Isaac Asiamah, Member of Parliament for Atwima Mponua, said at a news conference in Accra.

The news conference was to state the position of the Minority on the National Youth Employment Agency Bill, and for them to respond to the final report of the ministerial impact assessment and review committee on GYEEDA.

A copy of the report has been submitted to the Parliament Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture and Employment and Labour Relations.

According to the Minority, the amount when retrieved could fund the activities of the Agency for the next three years.

It said the issue at stake presents a clear opportunity for the president to demonstrate his commitment to the fight against corruption.

The scandal at GYEEDA has generated a lot of public discussion about some individuals linked to the governing NDC, and organisations like rlg, Savanna Accelerated Development Authority and Zoil Ghana Limited fingered.

Concerns have been raised by certain quarters of the public that the establishment of the GYEEDA lacked legal framework to operate and that Parliament should partly be blamed for the mess at the Agency.

Mr Asiamah described such claims as “fallacious and cannot be sustained,” and pointed out that the programme since its inception, has at all times operated within a legal framework.

The National Youth Employment Programme as an inter-sectoral project was set in 2006 by the NPP government under the name National Youth Employment Programme. The name was later changed to the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA) by the NDC on assumption in office in 2009.

Currently, the ruling government has submitted a bill to Parliament with an objective to establish the Youth Employment Agency to develop, coordinate, supervise and facilitate the creation of jobs for the youth.

The Bill when approved would afford the Agency to coordinate all youth employment and entrepreneurial programmes and respond to the employment needs of the youth.

However, source of funding has become a worry to managers of the Agency since the statutory funding sources including the National Health Insurance Scheme, the District Assemblies Common Fund and the Ghana Education Trust Fund are currently challenged financially due to an expansion in their mandates.

Mr Asiamah wondered why the government is in haste to pass the Youth Employment Agency Bill, and alleged that the programme has “only resulted in massive corruption, embezzlement, wanton dissipation of the tax payers’ money and total disregard for laid down laws, rules and regulations in public financial management”.

He dared the Government demonstrate its commitment to fight corruption, and therefore implement the action paper they have issued and ensure that those who have caused Ghana financial loss face the music.

The Minority urged the Government cause the publication of the financial statement of GYEEDA for the period under review and freeze the accounts of the Agency, individuals and companies involved in the fraudulent act with immediate effect.

Additionally, the Government should promptly respond by giving clear directive to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to prosecute the culprits for their gross disregard for the laws of the land. GNA

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