We’ve Created Jobs Indeed – Gov’t Replies Critics

Government has defended it’s claim that it has introduced several interventions which has created employment opportunities for thousands of Ghanaians.

A statement signed by the Minister of Communication, Omane Boamah on Monday, outlined some measures government had so far taken to create jobs and reduce what it called a “perennial global challenge [of unemployment] to the barest minimum”

In the statement, government indicated that “several interventions aimed at creating more jobs, as well as helping the private sector to expand and create job opportunities for the youth have been initiated.”

Some economists including Dr. William Baah Boateng have since called on government to provide proof for these figures as government initiatives may not necessarily create the number of jobs projected.

But the Deputy Minister of Communication, Ato Sarpong, on Eyewitness News mounted a strong argument for the assertion, insisting that even in the last four months alone, government had introduced policies to tackle unemployment in the country.

“We acknowledge the fact that last year and the year before were very difficult years for us; but four months into 2016, we cannot say this year is as difficult as 2015 was, because if nothing at all, we have been able to stabilize the energy challenge so obviously people such as barbers, hairdressers, tailors are in employment this year than they did last year. We acknowledge that there are challenges but let us also acknowledge that we have taken a step forward and all that we need to do is to see how best we can support the economy.”

Mr. Sarpong further explained that government’s statement was aimed at highlighting the key areas that it had so far invested in over the years.

He further clarified that government never listed the specific number of jobs it had created under the various programmes as the media had sought to put out figures from their own calculations.

“What we sought to do was to put out various interventions in various sectors of the economy and the impact of those interventions as long as we could analyse, tabulate and audit in terms of jobs that are being created out there. We never indicated that we created 600,000 jobs in the statement. It is just to put out as part of accounting to the people of this country that there has been such interventions in these sectors and this is the impact of the intervention in terms of job creation.”

Responding to questions on government’s neglect of the private sector, the Minister pointed out that although it will be prudent for government to create an enabling environment for private businesses to flourish, it is also relevant for it to put in place temporary measures to ensure that majority of Ghanaians are gainfully employed.

“I agree with the statement that government should create an environment for businesses to flourish but because of where we are coming from, it is important that we put in some interventions for the purpose of meeting short and medium term goals of the country and that is what these interventions are intended to do. Overtime we expect that an enabling environment will enable and allow the private sector to lead the creation of jobs and that is what we expect in the long-term; but before we get there; we saw that as government, we owe a responsibility to intervene in certain areas for the purposes of creating direct and indirect jobs.”