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The claim by Minister-designate for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baafour-Awuah that over three million jobs were created in the last four years of the Akufo Addo administration has set several tongues wagging over the issue.
Perhaps what has infuriated many is also the claim that just 3,000 jobs were lost in the banking crisis.
Unhappy about the minister’s claim, a section of the Ghanaian public has expressed misgivings and also cast doubt over the statement by calling on Parliament to reject the appointment of the employment minister nominee.
Mr. Seth Ablorso, a Labour Expert and General Secretary of the Professionals and Allied Workers of Ghana has questioned the minister’s 3 million jobs claim.
According to him the government owes it a duty to Ghanaians to inform them about the correct number of job losses and not just jobs that were created.
It would be recalled that Mr. Ignatius Baffour- Awuah appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament last Wednesday, indicated that the government under President Akufo Addo’s first term in office created three million jobs.
“The last time we reported was in September 2020 and the figure was around three million jobs,” the Nominee said during vetting.
These jobs according to the Minister came from the government’s planting for Food and Jobs, and the 100,000 Nation’s Builders Corp, NABCO beneficiaries and largely the private sector.
However, Seth Ablorso speaking to Accra based 3FM’s Sunrise Morning Show expressed concern about the figures churned out saying they are not verifiable.
“The facts are that we don’t have verifiable information. The first indicator of jobs created is an increase in membership of the social security and every employer needs to register with the scheme”.
According to him, the labour offices in the national employment centre, which comes with national offices, regional offices and district offices. “So if a government claims to have created jobs where are the distribution of those jobs. Where are the jobs, where are the kind of jobs created? He queried.
“Government should tell us honestly how many jobs have been lost both by their own policies for instance the microfinance institutions. We cannot talk about jobs created without talking about the losses”, he stated.
A deputy National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Edem Agbana alsio commenting on the issue discounted the claim.
Mr. Agbana believes Baffour Awuah lied before the committee and must be subjected to strict proof failure of which should cost him the top job.
“That should be the basis for him to be rejected,” he told XYZ Tonight show.
He said Awuah’s data was not correct because in September 2020 his party led by Vice President Mahamadu Bawumia made a similar pronouncement claiming their government had created 2 million jobs which the NDC fact-checked and realized it was false.
Edem Agbana stated their facts exposed the government because they had not created close to the number they put out but rather it was replacement of employees the government had done in various sectors thereby creating unemployment in the country.
For instance, the National Youth Organiser of the NPP Henry Nana Boakye at a press conference stated the Akufo-Addo government had created 778,706 jobs in the public sector and 267,939 in the formal sector.
“Government job creation programmes created 1,008,365 jobs. In all, we have 2,550,510,” Nana Boakye noted.
But Agbana said the 762,300 jobs Dr Bawumia claimed had been created from the government’s Planting for Foods and Jobs (PFJ) programme were “nonexistent” and said the data presented last September is different from the one Mr Baffour Awuah captured in his handing over notes.
Agbana mentioned the job losses in the recent banking sector crisis and blamed the Akufo-Addo government for that, saying the banks could have been saved to keep jobs.
The youth activist further blamed the dwindling trust the youth have in the country’s leadership on such “falsehoods” and charged the media to be bold to take on politicians when they tell Ghanaians lies.