MPs wrangle over employment situation

BY: By Musah Yahaya Jafaru
library photos
library photos

The Majority and Minority in Parliament yesterday engaged in a banter on the rate of unemployment and the number of jobs created by the government in the last two years.

The Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) claimed that as many as three million people had lost their jobs per a research by Centre for Socio-economic Studies (CSS).

Besides, they said the government had failed to create the many jobs promised, while the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) would only provide temporary jobs.

But the Majority MPs said the Ministry of Employment had challenged the three million figures provided by the CSS with figures from the Ghana Statistical Service.

Therefore, the Majority MPs, led by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Sunyani West and Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, and the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the three million figures could not be supported by any evidence since the CSS had not yet responded to GSS figures.

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The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was chairing, ruled that since the GSS was the only primary source of information for the country, the Minority should refrain from referring to the three million figures since the GSS was challenging the figures.

Minority's take

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Keta and Deputy Ranking Member on the Employment Committee, Mr Richard Quashigah, said decisions by the NPP government had led to the collapse of financial, media and other sectors.

Mr Quashigah said NPP government had failed to deliver on its flagship projects, such as the One-district, 0ne-factory and one-village, one-dam.
The NDC MP for Garu, Mr Albert Akaka Alazuuga, also stressed that, "many Ghanaian companies are collapsing."

Majority's response

The NPP MP for Prestea/Huni-Valley and Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ms Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said unemployment had been a challenge in the country in the past.

She said it was the seriousness of the unemployment situation that led to the formation of the Unemployed Graduate Association.

Ms Oteng-Gyasi said the NPP government had introduced policies such as the One-district, One-factory; Planting for Food and Jobs to offer jobs for the youth.

She said the NaBCo was also an attempt to give respite to young graduates by way of employment.