The first anniversary of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) programme, initiated by the government to address graduate unemployment has been celebrated, here.
The NaBCo initiative is solving public service delivery in health, education, agriculture, technology, governance and drive revenue mobilisation and collection.
Some of the trainees have been posted to work at assigned places while others are still on training achieving knowledge and experiences and receiving wages as well.
Ashanti Region is one of the huge beneficiaries of the NaBCo which can boast of 25,000 selected trainees as the Kumasi metropolis alone has 6,269 of them on the grounds.
Speaking on the theme, 'Investing in the youth, securing our future through work opportunities and nation building', Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Kumasi, Osei Assibey-Antwi, commended the NaBCo trainees for their tireless effort in helping the growth of the programme and cheered them up to keep up the good work to define the reason for NaBCo's existence.
He urged them to take advantage of the occasion and assess their performance through personal accounts of stewardship in order to progress in the subsequent years.
Mr Assibey-Antwi said "anniversaries are not celebrated for nothing. They are opportunities for stock taking and introspection. Take advantage of the occasion to access your performance. I was so happy when I heard some of you give accounts of your stewardship".
The MCE asked them to share their knowledge saying, "Sharing of knowledge is key because it helps one another. We do not always have to give the positive side, but the challenges as well in order to fashion out the best way of solving."
"To this, I want to assure that the programme has come to stay but you are the one that will make it viable. You have been given the opportunity and you are the pioneers. Please take advantage of the opportunity that you have. It has given a lot of you room for experience."
Mr Assibey-Antwi asked them to humble themselves in order to acquire knowledge, because the designers knew the value of the programme "that is why they took their time to draft such".
The Kumasi metropolitan NaBCo coordinator, Christian Ampofo, observed that institutional placement had been one of the challenges of the programme due to the rejection of trainees by certain institutions for the thought of no space to be accommodated.
He was hopeful government would, in a progressive way, resolve the challenges.
Several activities, such as a float, have been lined up for the week-long anniversary.
In a related development, Cliff Ekuful reports that the Greater Accra Regional branch of NaBCo, has made significant strides, one year after it was launched.
According to the Regional Coordinator of the programme, Alhaji Mohammed Baba Darison, and in line with its mandate, personnel of NaBCo were contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of the country.
The progress, he said, would be sustained to ensure that the objective of its establishment was attained.
"Our visits to the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra has revealed that our Revenue Ghana trainees are doing a good job and the Authority was considering engaging some of them permanently," he emphasised.
Alhaji Darison who was speaking at the media briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, said his outfit was more than encouraged by the positive feedbacks "we continued to receive from our partners".
"I am happy to say that we are encouraged by the positive testimonies of our partners about the conduct and performance of our trainees," he said.
The NaBCo Regional Coordinator stated that due to the sterling performance of their trainees at the various duty posts, some of the partners had started employing some of them permanently.
"GRA is not the only organisation with good words for NaBCo, indeed, some Heal Ghana trainees in Greater Accra have been selected for permanent employment by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) because of the good work they have been doing in the hospitals and clinics in Accra," he added.
Furthermore, he said their trainees placed with the department of agriculture under the Feed Ghana Model were providing general extension services by disseminating improved technologies to farmers and processors as they visited them in their homes.
"They also assist in mobilising farmers into groups to enable them to reach large numbers with technologies. Others are market extension agents carrying out educational programmes in the market centres on post-harvest management and food safety," Alhaji Darison said.
He indicated that Feed Ghana trainees were also engaged as market enumeration officers and veterinary officers to collect data on food commodity prices and carry out surveillance and vaccination programmes respectively.
Alhaji Darison disclosed that his outfit would continue to enhance its partnership with all stakeholders to improve services for the region with a mindset to address the social problem of the society.
Touching on the non-payment of stipends to some of the beneficiaries, he said the initial challenges that confronted the systems had been resolved as a result, all beneficiaries who had gone through the laid-down processes had received up-to-date payment.
According to him, persons who have not yet received their stipends are to have themselves blamed for failing to act on simple instructions as directed by the secretariat, stressing that, "In such situation, it is the trainee who must take the blame and not the secretariat."
Alhaji Darison expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as well as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NaBCo, Dr Ibrahim Anyars for the intervention which aimed at addressing the problem of growing graduate unemployment situation in the country.