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Gov't loses count of jobs created since 2013

Date published: Tuesday, 26th April 2016

Deputy Communication Minister Ato Sarpong

Government has admitted that it cannot quantify the total number of jobs it has created since 2013.

Despite releasing a statement pointing out several job creation initiatives, Deputy Communication Minister Ato Sarpong conceded that government did not know how many jobs this initiative had created.

One of the initiatives brought under scrutiny in the interview on Joy FM's Top Story was an education intervention programme to distribute free school uniforms.

“If we invest some money in getting two million uniforms, that is definitely going to fuel employment in a certain sector of the economy”, the deputy minister responsed to Joy News’ Evans Mensah's demand for specifics.

According to the statement, the largest job creation sector is in the construction industry where government said heavy investment in social infrastructure had created employment for more than 400,000 professionals.

In an extensive list by Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah earlier Monday, revealed that the Youth in Agriculture programme employed 23,000 youth in 2013.

Under the Free Zones Board, a total of 69 companies were established between 2013 and 2015, leading to the employment of 16,372 people.

In another example, the statement said the Micro Finance and Small Loan Centre (MASLOC) has advanced micro credit to a total of ¢190,607 beneficiaries by 2015. But it could not state how many jobs these disbursements have created.

The Skills Development Fund, implemented by COTVET, has disbursed GH¢150 million to 654 businesses, although its website states 170 which government explained that some reconciliation has to be done.

Although the statement claimed the job figures put out there are verifiable, it ended without the total number of jobs generated by government.

Joy News, however, estimates 800,000 jobs in more than three years.

Defending the statement, Ato Sarpong said, despite a lack of a definite figure, it is still important for the public to know the job creation initiatives introduced by government.

“The fact that we have not been able to tabulate numbers, verify and audit it and establish that this is an absolute number does not mean that we should not put the information out there….it is part of the policy of accounting to the people.”

An absolute number would have to be confirmed or denied by Labour and Ghana Statistical Service, he directed.

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