23 November 2006

Ghana: Minister Bares Teeth and Recommends Dismissal and Prosecution of Those Found Culpable

THE VOLTA Regional Minister. Mr. Samuel Kofi Dzamesi has expressed shock over the reports of extortion by coordinators of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).

He however advocated for total dismissal of coordinators who were caught not only in extorting money from the people but engage in activities that sought to derail the government's move and discredit it.

The Minister who stated that it was untenable and uncalled for, for anybody to want to sabotage the programme for his or her whims and caprices, called for prosecution of Coordinators that fall foul of the law.

"I recommend total dismissal of people caught in the act. Those people must face the full rigors of the law because we cannot allow them to discredit the project and the government," he said.

"It is wrong to try to do anything outside the law. Anybody who does that must be dealt with," he said.

In an interaction with this paper on his views on the situation as far as Volta Region where he is the boss was concerned, Mr. Dzamesi, said though the NYEP would face some minor encounters just like other policies in the region because, the people in the region, it was not in the right direction for Coordinators to exploit people through extortion.

"I have asked that all the employments in the various districts should be forwarded to the regional liaison officers for proper scrutiny to prevent them from discrediting the government."

According to him, despite that fact that people in the region do have some reservations about whatever policy that NPP brings, he underscored that the people later embrace it. He cited the National Insurance Health Scheme (NHIS) as an example and stated that Volta region, is now leading in terms of the number of registers.

Mr. Dzamesi also revealed that Akatsi district in the region is also leading in youth agricultural programme.

Describing the recent extortion saga as the most worst form of extortion because the people who are looking for job to be subjected to another form he said, he would not sit down in his region for people to abuse and discredit the government.

The regional Minister urged electorate to desist from politicizing the recent NYEP, which was meant to alleviate and reduce the unemployment in the nation.

"I don't believe that there is politicization but in most cases, it was the NDC that wants to politicize everything. This policy is for the whole nation even though people in the region believes that it was for the NPP, but I can assure you that some people from Ketu South who are NDC members are employed to work. The only reason is that it was just new to them."

Pledging sustainability of the NYEP in the region because money to sustain it comes from both the common fund and internal generated funds.

The Minister who incidentally returned from a tour of some projects within Ho Municipality said sooner or later, Ho would change miraculously to the admirations of the people.

Mr. Dzamesi recounted a lot of projects that the NPP administration has executed in the region and is still in the process of doing more in terms of development in the region.

According to him, the government has allocated ¢40billion for the whole Municipality and stated that by the end of 2008, the region would see a lot of transformation and improvement in the lives of residents.

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