Address By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, At The Launch Of The Nation Builders Corps, On Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, At The Great Hall, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology (Knust), Kumasi.

I am happy you have all been able to join us this morning, on what is an important occasion, i.e. the launch of the Nation Builders Corps, which will employ, in this year alone, 100,000 young men and women to assist in the public sector service delivery needs of our country.

Ladies and gentlemen, the grim story of youth unemployment has been a tragic part of our lives for far too long in Ghana. Data from the renowned Institute of Statistics, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), published in March 2017, revealed that only 10% of graduates found jobs after their first year of completing school, and that it takes up to 10 years for a large number of graduates to secure employment. The World Bank’s Landscape of Jobs in Ghana Report, published in 2016, revealed that about 48 percent of the youth in the country, who are between the ages of 15 to 24 years, do not have jobs. Indeed, the situation has been worsened by the ban placed on public sector employment by the International Monetary Fund. I believe we all know who and what occasioned that ban.  

Today, the number of graduates being produced by tertiary institutions has outstripped the number of available job openings. I was alarmed, late last year, to learn that two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) young persons applied to be placed in the Youth Employment Agency’s Internship Module, when the available spaces were only for five thousand (5,000) people. The Ghana Revenue Authority also advertised for various categories of staff. Some fifty nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety one (59,991) responded to the advertisement, out of which twenty thousand, one hundred and seventy seven (20,177) met the requirements, and the available vacancies were three hundred and fifty (350).

It is important that we do things differently, if we were going to banish the spectre of desperation, and restore hope and dignity to our youth. Our ultimate goal, as a government, is to grow the economy rapidly so that, together with the private sector, we will absorb our teeming unemployed youth. That is why I am using the opportunity offered by the significance of this day, to launch an initiative which, whilst lending itself to the symbolic nature of today, will have a positive, practical impact on the lives of the citizens of this country.

Ladies and gentlemen, in this year’s Adwumapa budget, I gave an indication that a new employment scheme will be launched to tackle the issue of the growing numbers of graduates exiting our tertiary institutions with no job placements in sight. This new initiative is the Nation Builders Corps, simply referred to as NaBCo.

As a scheme, NaBCo’s central focus would be to create employment avenues and opportunities for young people who hold diplomas or degrees from accredited tertiary institutions. Central to the objectives of this scheme would be to engage the raw talent of our graduates, and equip them with skills, through a process of value-addition and training. It is a widely-acknowledged fact that academic qualifications, be it diplomas or degrees, do not always incline a graduate to perform and deliver productive output at the workplace. NaBCo will enhance the dignity and self-esteem of our graduates, and will also present them with the added benefit of efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of some essential public services. By the time our NaBCo trainees exit the scheme, the requisite work readiness skills and experience, often deemed a barrier to their employment as fresh graduates, would have been resolved.

How will NaBCo work?

NaBCo will be the vehicle to deliver one hundred thousand (100,000) jobs in seven (7) prioritised areas, defined as the following modules: Educate Ghana; Heal Ghana; Feed Ghana; Revenue Ghana; Digitise Ghana; Enterprise Ghana; and Civic Ghana. Module qualification and recruitment processes, and all the essential criteria, along with detailed information, are all available on the website of NaBCo, from where initial applications will be received. The website’s address for the receipt of applications, and any other information you may need on the scheme is www.nabco.gov.gh.

After the end of this ceremony, the web portal will be open, to begin receiving applications from graduates, as long as they are citizens of this country, and have duly discharged their national service obligations. There are no charges or costs, and no paper application forms to fill. Everything is being done online, and on the website of NaBCo. This will optimise efficiency in the processing of applications, as well as afford the opportunity for checking with other available, national databases to prevent fraud. With the application processes closing on 1st June, 2018, it is expected that, by 1st July, selected applicants would become this country’s first NaBCo trainees, who will receive training and will be deployed to commence their work by 1st August, 2018. For the attainment of equity and fairness, every constituency has a stated allocation out of the 100,000 placements. This has been worked out based on a weighting formula, thus, ensuring all constituencies, large or small, adequate representation.

With the ultimate aim being to help guarantee employability of these graduates, placements would last for a period of three (3) years, earning them a stipend of 700 Ghana cedis every month. This is a modest, but important beginning towards the restoration of their dignity. Beneficiaries will also receive continuous skills training, and retraining on the job, both to equip and guide their future career paths. The security offered by this graduate employment scheme implies that graduates have sufficient time to make prudent choices on their future entry onto the labour market, on potential interests of starting businesses and entrepreneurship, or even on definitive clarity on further learning options, guided by experiences and the benefit of exposure to the world of work.  

NaBCo is placing particular emphasis on some essential, core values that are key to building and transforming a nation, and which will be imparted to beneficiaries. Values such as integrity, professionalism, hard work, patriotism, and good customer relations, are deemed crucial for any nation to achieve significant output from the productive efforts of its workforce. In establishing performance indicators and standards for NaBCo trainees, the scheme will deliberately target evaluative efforts at them to ensure that trainees exit comprehensively prepared for the labour market.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hear you asking what is going to be done about persons who do not have diplomas or degrees. The answer is this. NaBCo is freeing up the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) of the burden of dealing with everything to do with employment amongst the youth, especially graduates. NaBCo is granting YEA extra absorptive capacity to concentrate on non-graduates. YEA will also recruit 80,000 non-graduates this year, whilst NaBCo commences recruitment of 100,000 graduates. Government’s commitment to job creation will not end here, but would be accelerated through the implementation of our flagship programmes of “One District One Factory”, “One village One Dam”, and the Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs. We are also creating an enabling economic environment for the private sector to thrive, which will drive in investment, foreign and domestic, and, thereby, help create jobs.

I thank my brilliant, hardworking Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who has led this effort tirelessly, and all those who contributed immeasurably to making this day possible.

To all our young graduates, who qualify to enter this scheme, NaBCo is yours, own it and help something meaningful and fulfilling happen for yourselves and for your country. Be proud to say ‘I am a Nation Builder’, and this country will be thankful to you too for rising up to the challenge. I believe very strongly that Ghana is on the cusp of a new, bold beginning, which will repudiate the recent culture of failure.   

Accordingly, I declare the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) duly launched. The website, once again, for the receipt of applications and any other information you may need on the scheme is www.nabco.gov.gh, I repeat, www.nabco.gov.gh

I wish you all a Happy May Day celebration.

May God bless us all and our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong. Thank you for your attention.

About Ghana

Ghana, is a west African country, bound on the north by Burkina Faso, on the east by Togo, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean,and on the west by Côte d'Ivoire.

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