Bolgatanga — The Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Domelovo, has observed that one major intervention that could be used to address the unemployment problem in the country is the ongoing Nationwide Payroll and Personnel Verification Audit (NPPVA) exercise.
The Auditor-General who made the observation during the inauguration of the NPPVA exercise in Bolgatanga, on Tuesday, explained that the exercise would not only help weed out ghost names and those above the legal retirement age of 60 in the service to pave way for the teaming unemployed, but would also help cut down the government's wage bill.
He dropped the hint that though the exercise had not yet been completed and report submitted, data captured so far in the regions revealed that there were many people who were above the legal retirement age of 60 still working.
The Auditor General indicated that most drivers, security men and secretaries in many state institutions particularly the tertiary institutions have been caught in the web of being above the legal retirement age of 60 still working and enjoying salaries.
Mr Domelovo who said he would not to cowed by any political pressure in executing his duties to ensure justice said the constitution pegged the retirement age of government workers at 60.
"The only thing that could be done is for Ghanaians to review the constitutional provision if they want a change of the retirement above 60 years. Though the constitution guarantees that the government could give contracts of two to three years to some workers in some exceptional cases, there are many government workers who are closer to 75 and above working without being on contracts," the Auditor General stressed.
The Auditor General expressed worry about the chunk of unemployed youth in the country, stating that majority of them held undergraduate and postgraduate certificates and should be given the opportunity to help prevent security threat.
The acting Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Frank FuseineAdongo, told the stakeholders including heads of institutions and their subordinates that public and civil servants, it was a binding force on them to abide by the code of ethics and best practices.
"However, it has been observed by some state institutions that, there are unqualified employees and ghost workers who draw salaries from the public purse which is draining the economy, hence, making anti-graft agencies to question these happenings", the acting Regional Minister indicated.
He said the 1992 constitution frowned upon corruption and taking state funds without working for it and warned that the Commission on Human Rights and Administration of Justice and other government anti-corruption institutions would not hesitate to investigate any corruption issue against public or civil servants.
He commended the Auditor General for initiating such move to help clean the public payroll of abnormalities and warned those found using fake certificates to look for employment to desist from that.
Twenty-six thousand workers from the 15 municipal and district assemblies across the region are participating in the exercise which is expected to end on October 16, 2018.