Some 324 workers have been mobilised to manage the implementation of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo), a Presidential Special Initiative providing hands-on training for some 95,908 unemployed graduates.
A report of the Finance Committee of Parliament on the 2019 Budget Estimates for the Office of Government Machinery noted that in 2018, GH¢30 million was dispensed to engage the NaBCo workforce and also acquire other relevant logistics for its operations.
The workforce comprise a national secretariat with 17 staff and a chief executive officer, 10 regional coordinators, 245 district coordinators, 36 regional monitors and seven module officers.
NaBCo, which is a learning programme targeted at enhancing future employability of tertiary graduates, commenced in November last year with the deployment of 95,908 trainees although the government’s target was 100,000 positions on the scheme.
It is the government’s expectation that the trainees would gain practical work readiness skills as NaBCo intends to deliver enrichment and structured learning tasks, digital and soft skills to add value to the base qualification they entered the scheme with.
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As a result, the government in 2018 spent GH¢67,135,600 on the deployed graduates, with each receiving GH¢700 as allowance for November 2018.
Although the Finance Committee of Parliament was assured that payment of allowances for subsequent months would be paid as scheduled, a group of beneficiaries of the programme has expressed dissatisfaction over the non-payment of their allowances since November 2018.
A spokesperson for the group, Ms Ellen Acheampong, told an Accra-based radio station that most of the affected recruits were previously engaged under the ‘Youth In Afforestation’ programme before it was integrated into NaBCo when it commenced in November last year.
She lamented that they receiving their allowances promptly from the Forestry Commission until they became part of NaBCo.
Meanwhile, the GRAPHIC BUSINESS has gathered from the NaBCo Secretariat in Accra that the payment of allowances had delayed for some beneficiaries due to data errors detected after due diligence.
12,000 of the beneficiaries are said to have given wrong USN number, about 1,000 gave wrong e-zwich numbers, while another 1,000 were found to be on the payroll of the Forestry Commission.
Also, 322 were found to be on YEA payroll, 408 on National Service Secretariat payroll, seven were enrolled on the Ministry of Health nursing training programme and 1,702 found to have been employed in other sectors.
“Some of them have received their allowances to date but need to ensure that we were paying the allowances to people who did not meet all the requirements,” a senior officer at the NaBCo Secretariat in Accra told the paper in confidence.
The NaBCo Secretariat will this year collaborate with agencies identified as Module Implementation Partners (MIPs) to deploy some of the beneficiaries to government agencies in need of their services.
This will ensure that the skills and potential of the beneficiaries are harnessed for the development of the country.
For instance, the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) will collaborate with NaBCo to staff 216 of its district offices across the country.
The new offices are expected to help MASLOC create presence at the district level to help administer the Small Loans Scheme.