Accra, Oct. 17, GNA – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday inducted the first batch of 100,000 personnel of Government’s flagship programme; Nation Builders Corp (NaBCo), with an admonishment to be dutiful and productive in the areas they had been assigned.
With government investing some three billion Ghana cedis in the initiative designed to address employment challenges in the Public Sector, the President cautioned thus, “Your monthly stipend of GHc700 is not free money, and you must earn every pesewa of it through hard work and dedication, which I am confident you will do.”
“I admonish our NABCO trainees to be dutiful and productive in the areas you have been assigned. I urge you to demonstrate, on a daily basis, that you value knowledge as a basis for effective performance and productivity,’’ he said at the National Passing Out Ceremony of NabCo trainees at the Independence Square in Accra.
“You must show your professional credentials through timeliness and punctuality, and, above all, live beyond reproach so you can discharge your responsibilities with efficiency, so that all, at the end of the day, can vouch for your integrity,’’ the President said.
President Akufo-Addo launched the programme on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, to create employment avenues and opportunities for young people who hold diplomas or degrees from accredited tertiary institutions.
The programme engages the raw talents of graduates and equips them with skills, through a process of value-addition and training to address challenges facing critical sectors of the economy.
The NabCo trainees, who were taken through a rigorous selection process followed by intensive capacity building, would be deployed in seven critical aspects of the economy; Education, Revenue Mobilisation, Agriculture, Health, Governance, Digitisation and the Private Sector.
The trainees, who would be engaged in a structured work and learning environment over the next three years, would receive a monthly stipend of GH¢700.00.
President Akufo-Addo expressed confidence that the 100,000 NabCo trainees would assist in the realisation of Government’s vision of an educated population, an industrialised, robust and well-managed economy, and the delivery of good governance, saying: “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
“Today is a very happy day for me. It is a day when we begin the process of banishing the spectre of desperation, and restoring hope and dignity to our youth.”
“In NaBCo, we have planted the seeds of the growth and future of our country. I am in no doubt, whatsoever, that NaBCo will succeed.’’
“I salute all of you, young men and women, for taking this innovative step to lay the foundation for your future careers, and, at the same time, contribute your quota to the growth and development of our nation.”
The President said the programme would ensure that trainees, over the next three years, acquired skills that would enable them to transition smoothly into the world of permanent work, thus addressing graduate unemployment, in spite of their educational qualifications.
He disclosed that the managers of the programme had struck up a partnership with the Council for Technical, Vocational and Educational Training (COTVET), and some universities, both domestic and foreign, for the validation of the content of the learning programmes.
This would enable trainees to receive appropriate certification for their deployment to the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service, Information Services Department, Local Government Service, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Contrary to the pessimism espoused by critics of the programme, the President was confident that the concerns about the fate of trainees upon exiting the programme would be addressed as the initiative would ensure they were equipped to thrive “without recourse to NABCO planning their exit arrangements.”
“Nonetheless, the scheme has well-constructed and clearly defined exit routes. Our public services and institutions, having benefited from the services of NaBCo trainees over the three-year period, will, naturally, have opportunities that allow the retention of trainees, who have justified their value. Another pathway is the building of an entrepreneurial base among the trainees.’’
He said: “The Ministry of Business Development and the National Entrepreneurial and Innovation Plan are involved with this exit pathway. The goal is to have 500 business leaders mentoring 500 NaBCo trainees under the Enterprise Ghana module. A dedicated fund, amounting to the equivalent of their third-year allowances, is to be made available for them to start their co-operative ventures. An equivalent matching fund will be sourced from a private investor to complement the GH¢4.5 million fund.’’
“Again, we have employed creativity in the design of an exit pathway focused on education. For example, the University College of Education Winneba, and University of Cape Coast, are to provide academic support to train the many NaBCo personnel with Diploma in Basic Education. This will provide them with certificates and guarantee careers in the early childhood care and development sector,” the President stated.
The President called on Ghanaians to give the trainers, who would be deployed to the nook and crannies of the country, the needed support.
“Work with them, and believe that, together, we can build a progressive and prosperous nation, the equal of any on the face of the planet,” he said.
To the trainees, the visibly elated President, said, “I know I am not alone in aspiring to see a transformed Ghana, which has joined the ranks of developed nations, and moved to a situation beyond aid…As you return to your respective destinations to commence work, your marching orders are clear – help build a nation you will be proud of.”
“Live by the core values of knowledge, punctuality and integrity. Live as nation builders. Let us, together, fulfill the dreams of progress and prosperity that animated the great patriots whose toil and sacrifice brought us our freedom and independence.”