Members of the Nation Builder’s Corps (NABCo) are voicing their disappointment after graduating trainees were excluded from the YouStart programme’s first disbursement phase.
This comes despite a government promise to prioritize NABCo graduates for the initiative.
The 2022 budget announced YouStart as a vehicle to support youth-led businesses with loans up to GHC50,000, aiming to empower startups and small businesses.
In July 2022, Deputy Finance Minister Dr. John Kumah stated the government’s intention to transition NABCo trainees into YouStart starting July 1, replacing the NABCo programme that ended in October 2021.
However, recent events have left NABCo graduates feeling disillusioned. Despite applying for YouStart grants, none were selected for the programme’s initial disbursement phase. This has generated a sense of betrayal and uncertainty among former trainees.
Adding to their frustration, NABCo graduates are still owed nine months of arrears. In a recent press statement, the aggrieved trainees issued a one-month ultimatum for the government to settle these outstanding payments.
Read the full statement below
The Government has one one-month ultimatum to pay us all the 9-month outstanding areas. We do not want to have any business with the Nana Addo Bawumia-led government again.
In November 2021, the coalition expressed our mistrust of the government’s renewed promise to “transition graduating participants on the Nabco programme to the youstart programme”, which was captured in paragraph 247 page 61, number Xi of the 2022 budget statement read by the finance minister in the same month the NABCO contract ended.
We even further stated that the YouStart promise to NABCO trainees was just to create a public smokescreen of a good intention and blindfold the beneficiaries who were aggrieved by the NPP go vernment’s fractured failure and forfeiture of the earlier promise to transition NABCO participants in to the mainstream works.
Now our anticipation has become the reality as our ground sampling and enquiries prove that, so far, none of the NABCO beneficiaries who applied for the YouStart grants was called for the recent phase one of the grants disbursement. In fact, this YouStart programme has been another fiscal machinery to pacify aggrieved NPP party footsoldiers visa-vis resourcing the tall list of apparatchiks, family and friends of NPP govemment appointees
We have already lose trust in Nana Addo/Bawumia led government. All we need now is 9months arrears fully settled as we don’t want to have any business to do with this government again.
Withal, we want to caution NPP government to put an end to hailing and praising non-functional NABCO scheme which didn’t accomplish the rational of which it was created in its national budget every year as an achievement.
We are going to intercept any partisan utterances, any signages that will leverage on the failed NABCO scheme in an attempt to win votes in come 2024 general elections.
Frank Evans Quansah