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Accurate employment figures key for businesses

Feb. 8, 2018, 11:06 a.m.

As President Akufo-Addo prepares to present the State of the Nation address today [February 8], one major issue that is expected to be addressed is the number of jobs created since the inception of his administration.

Already, the President had admitted at a media encounter to the unavailability of up to date employment figures.

Recently, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto also announced that government has created 145,000 jobs under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme despite doubts over the figure.

Citi Business News analysis on the state of unemployment in Ghana show that meeting the demands of the teeming unemployed youth in the country has been a major challenge for the NPP government, a year into its administration.

Even though major government policies such as the one district, one factory; planting for food and jobs as well as the establishment of a Nation Builders’ Corps have all been geared at creating jobs, it seems the majority of Ghanaians are yet to realize the impact.

Coupled with this is the seeming inability by the economic managers to give details on jobs created over the last one year.

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at this year’s New Year School at the University of Ghana, described the country’s unemployment situation as a national security issue.

“High unemployment is no doubt the most pressing issue of our time … it is a national security issue because the devil finds work for idle hands, ultimately the high level of unemployment is a reflection of the underlined weaknesses in our economy,” he said.

The Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, Sir Sam Jonah admits that the situation becomes dire, when governments tend to assume the mandate of creating jobs for the unemployed citizenry.

“In today’s world, it is simply unrealistic to expect that governments by themselves can create jobs on a sustainable basis; it is now generally accepted that this is the role of the private sector and if I may say so , it will be unproductive for us to engage in idle debate over ideology. For the peace and stability of our dear nation, jobs have to be created and to do so requires significant capital.”

Meanwhile, Sir Sam Jonah is hopeful that working to achieve a Ghanaian owned economy with significant ownership in critical sectors like telecom, mining and banking, should provide the springboard to leap unto job creation.

“The reversal of this unsatisfactory and unhealthy situation will require a complete mind change at all levels of society, a new approach at which we generate local interest and ownership of private businesses must be grounded on a conscious promotion of national capitalism, economic empowerment doesn’t just happen, it is a deliberate and conscious effort and it is a consequence of government policy.”