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Wage bill to shoot up

May 23, 2016, 10:19 a.m.

The wage bill to tax revenue, which currently hovers around 57%, is set to shoot up sharply as government recruits thousands into the health and education sectors, as well as the security agencies.

Though the recruitment is good news, in light of the revelation by the World Bank that 48% of Ghanaian youth are unemployed, it has the potential to shake the very foundation of government’s three-year bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) aimed at stabilising the troubled economy.

The IMF wants government to reduce the percentage of the wage bill to tax revenue from the current 57% to 35%.

This requirement is seen as the nerve centre of the three-year IMF bailout programme because a bulging wage bill was the main reason government cited to apply for the programme.

Govt opens employment floodgates

Emerging figures indicate that not less than 10,000 names will be added to the wage bill from ongoing employment into the public sector.

2,400 Math and Science teachers for GES

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has announced that it has been granted the financial clearance by the Ministry of Finance to recruit 2,400 teachers who will teach Mathematics and Science in senior high schools.

A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the GES, Rev Jonathan Bettey, said 5,000 applicants have been shortlisted to undergo some processes that will be used to recruit the qualified teachers.

4,799 Health workers employed by Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health has recruited and posted 4,799 nurses, psychiatry nurses, enrolled nurses, community nurses and midwives who graduated in 2014 and 2015 to various health facilities in Ghana.

The categories of persons employed are as follows: Registered Midwives - 1,268; Registered Community Nurses - 56; Registered General Nurses (Psychiatry) - 507; Health Assistant Clinical - 321; Registered General Nurses - 2,389; and Community Health Nurses – 258.

Tony Goodman, Head of Public Relations at the Ministry of Health, in a release, said the ministry is in talks with the Ministry of Finance to secure additional Financial Clearance, which will help engage nurses from private training institutions and other graduate nurses across the country.

Under the three-year International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, government can recruit into the health and education sectors if only government can generate enough revenue to pay the salaries.

Ghana Armed Forces

Last year, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) recruited 2,000 personnel, but 500 were sacked from training due to insubordination.

Even though GAF has not disclosed the number of personnel to be recruited this year, sources say it is likely another 2,000 personnel would be recruited.

Ghana Police Service

The Ghana Police Service, which has commenced its first recruitment in three years, is likely to recruit 500 and above personnel.

The service is yet to disclose the total number of personnel to be recruited.

Ghana Prisons Service

The Ghana Prisons Service will today commence the process to recruit fresh personnel.

The service, which has been understaffed for years, is expected to recruit more than 500 personnel.

Ghana National Fire Service and Ghana Immigration Service

Information gathered by The Finder indicates that the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) are also expecting approval from the Ministry of Finance to also commence recruitment exercises.

100,000 YEA jobs

Government's programme to recruit 100,000 Ghanaians under the new youth employment agency is underway across the country.

The YEA, which replaces the GYEEDA, has all the legal backing to ensure sustainability and prompt payment of allowances.

Already, 25,000 people have been recruited and are expected to earn GH?250 as allowance per month whilst the remaining GH?50 will go into a provident fund, which can be assessed by the beneficiary after exiting the programme in two years.

Last year, government said the public sector wage bill dropped from 70% of government tax revenue to 57% after a rigorous process to remove 'ghost names' or non-existing bank accounts from government payroll.

This massive recruitment drive into state institutions is likely to balloon the wage bill back to the pre-IMF levels.