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Parliament To Ban GYEEDA Operators At Consideration Of YEA Bill
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Following our November 18, 2014 story ‘GYEEDA TO RAKE IN BILLIONS’ on a new bill placed before Parliament named; the Youth Employment Agency Bill, YEA replacing GYEEDA, the bill is finally at the consideration stage.

Most amendments, if any are proposed and discussed or debated at the Consideration stage in Parliament for adoption or rejection. And members of Parliament from both sides of the House are busily engaged in the exercise of contributing their best to see a more refined Law that would truly lift the rather well-motivated youth focused initiative or intervention operate above the several challenges that have come to mar it.

One critical amendment standing in the name of the Honourable Member of Parliament for Manhyia South, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh is the banning of all individuals and companies indicted in the report of Committee that was set up to look into the rot at GYEEDA for at least five years from the operations and activities of the YEA.

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the very active middle age legislator beaming with a lot of promise said in discussion with this reporter that he drew inspiration from the national Constitution to make that proposal. He quoted Article 94 clause 2 (d) giving grounds for disqualification of a person from holding public office or becoming a Member of Parliament inter alia;

“……..has been found by the report of a commission or committee of inquiry to be incompetent to hold public office or is a person in respect of whom a commission or committee of inquiry has found that while being a public officer he acquired assets unlawfully or defrauded the State or misused or abused his office or wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interest of the State and the findings have not been set aside on appeal or judicial review;…..”

A state attorney whose views were sought on the bill in general also made the following observation; “Had the Executive bothered to take a close look at the national Constitution against the backdrop of the sordid history of GYEEDA at the drafting stage of the bill, perhaps a provision would have been introduced in line with the spirit of Article 94, 2(d) which seeks to discourage the promotion of persons who work against the interest of the State in some past engagement.”

The Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency, GYEEDA began as National Youth Employment Programme in somewhere in 2005. Upon assumption of Office in 2009, the late President JEA Mills along the line of tenure renamed it GYEEDA with the aim of restructuring and refocusing it. We have had several challenges associated with this rather well-motivated intent to deal with the issue of unemployment in Ghana.

Unfortunately, the most notable of the issues bedevilling the agency is corruption of the highest order. A committee of inquiry set up by the Ministry of Youth and Sports where the agency initially operated from revealed collusion between private companies and public officials to siphon state resources without recourse to the laws on financial administration in Ghana. To the effect that an order following the committee’s recommendations has been given for the retrieval of those funds wrongly paid.

It is against this background that the enactment of a distinct law to monitor the operations of that agency requires serious scrutiny and forthrightness. Some other amendments proposed include; “maintain a web-based database of youth employment in the country including prospective youth requests” and “undertake a continuing study of the youth employment requirements of the country; establish and maintain relations with relevant international organizations or institutions engaged in activities connected with youth skills training” standing in the names of Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah and Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu respectively.

If these amendments are made to stand, all the individuals indicted in the GYEEDA report as well as the companies notably RLG and ZOOMLION would suffer the penalty of having nothing to do the YEA for some five years.

It is the hope of TNF that Parliament would expedite action on the amendment process to ensure a speedy enactment of the long missing legislation to guard and guide the activities of this rather novel idea of Youth Employment, unfortunately besmeared with several corruption cases.
Source: TheNational Forum

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