One hundred thousand (100,000) young men and women recruited under the National Builders Corps (NABCO) yesterday began a new journey, bringing to an end to their long search for jobs.
This was during the passing out of beneficiaries of one of the NPP government’s flagship programmes NABCO at the Independence Square in Accra.
Speaking at the passing out ceremony, an elated President Akufo-Addo quoted Psalm 118 verse 24 of the Bible, which says “this is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
“Today is a very happy day for me. It is a day when we begin the process of banishing the spectre of desperation and restoring hope and dignity to our youth.”
A section of the crowd
He slammed critics who did not only ridicule but also ruled out the possibility of implementing the programme launched in May 1, 2018.
What baffled him was the fact that some even went to the extent of urging graduates from the nation’s tertiary institutions not to register for the programme, which was over-subscribed.
“In NABCO, we have planted the seeds for the future of our country. I have no doubt that NABCO will succeed,” the president said.
“At the end of the day, 100,000 young men and women, who are present, did not listen to the loud cries of the cynics and ‘Jeremiahs’.”
President Akufo-Addo interacting with Mr Ken Ofori Atta (right), Minister of Finance at the Out-Dooring ceremony of NABCO. Also with them is Mr Freddie Blay (2nd left), National Chairman, NPP
He added “they rose up to the challenge, signed up for the programme, took part in the rigorous selection process, and are passing out as Ghana’s first NABCO trainees.”
He, therefore, commended all young men and women for taking the bold step to lay the foundation for their future careers and contribute their quota to the development of the country.
The 100,000 NABCO trainees would be deployed under seven models namely Feed Ghana, Heal Ghana, Educate Ghana, Civic Ghana, Digitise Ghana, Enterprise Ghana, Revenue Ghana, to help develop the country.
He indicated that “the trainees are going to assist in the realisation of government’s vision of an educated population, an industrialised, robust and well-managed economy, the delivery of good governance, and for the sustenance of all these, a reliable, skilled and efficient workforce.
The NABCO trainees, President Akufo-Addo said, will be engaged in a structured work and learning programme environment, where for every four weeks of work, one week will be dedicated to acquiring soft, future employability, and work readiness skills.
“Within three years, NABCO trainees would have obtained 36 weeks of solid training and value addition to enable them to transition smoothly into the world of permanent work. By this, we would have also addressed the very issue that keeps our graduates out of the labour market in spite of their educational qualifications,” he stressed.
The managers of the programme, the President emphasised, have struck up a partnership with the Council for Technical, Vocational and Educational Training (COTVET), and some universities, both domestic and foreign, for the validation of the content of the learning programmes so that the trainees receive appropriate certification of their skills and training for their deployment.
They are expected to be deployed to the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service, Information Services Department, Local Government Service, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
President Akufo-Addo admonished NABCO trainees to be dutiful and productive in the areas they have been assigned, saying “I urge you to demonstrate, on a daily basis, that you value knowledge as a basis for effective performance and productivity.”
He said the launch of NABCO was a clear manifestation that his administration was delivering on its promises.
President Akufo-Addo urged beneficiaries to work hard and earn their monthly stipend with merit.
“Your monthly stipend of GH¢700 is not free, you must earn every pesewa of it,” the President said.
He tasked the graduates to be “dutiful and productive in areas they have been assigned and demonstrate on a daily basis the confidence reposed in them.
“You must show your professional credentials through timeliness and punctuality, and above all, live beyond reproach so you can discharge your responsibilities with efficiency, so that at the end of the day, you can vouch for your integrity. Your performance will be monitored through an innovate mobile application which will be deployed soon.”
He paid glowing tribute to Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his team, whose dedication and leadership, from the time of conception through to implementation, led to the success of the programme.
To the Corps, he said “as you return to your respective destinations to commence work, your marching orders are clear – help build a nation you will be proud of. Live by the core values of knowledge, punctuality and integrity. Live as nation builders. Let us, together, fulfill the dreams of progress and prosperity that animated the great patriots whose toil and sacrifice brought us our freedom and independence.”
The National Coordinator of NABCO, Dr. Anyars Ibrahim, said all processes leading to the selection of the 100,000 graduates out of over 130,000 applicants were transparent, adding that the NABCO Secretariat deployed measures to effectively scrutinize all documents and other relevant information provided by the applicants.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent