Member of Parliament for Ejisu and former CEO of National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Programme (NEIP), John Ampontuah Kumah, has urged beneficiaries of government loans to be committed to paying back to ensure the sustainability of such schemes.
The MP noted that such interventions extended to businesses and the private sector forms part of government’s measures to create a favourable environment for the private sector to thrive, as well as to help address the unemployment challenges facing the country – hence the need to pay back for the programmes to be further extended to many.
“May I take this opportunity to advise beneficiaries of government loans to remain disciplined and honest on their repayment obligations, in order ensure the sustenance of such laudable interventions from government,” Mr. Ampontuah Kumah said.
The lawmaker made this statement on the floor of Parliament last Tuesday, when members were discussing the subject ‘Youth Unemployment and Job Creation through the Private Sector’.
He reminded the House that government has rolled out several schemes to close the youth unemployment gap in the country. One of these interventions, he said, is the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Programme (NEIP).
The NEIP is on record to have trained 45,000 beneficiaries on how they can be business owners; 10,000 of them received funding up to the tune of GHc100,000. More importantly, he adds, the NEIP through private sector collaborations has created some 100,000 jobs.
Other interventions instituted by government to reduce youth unemployment, he mentioned, are the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO), Planting for Food and Jobs, One District-One Factory, the Youth Employment Programme, Youth in Afforestation, among others.
Also commenting on the issue, Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, questioned whether there are monitoring mechanisms to check abuse by some beneficiaries; as according to him, people simply do not have the sense of repayment when they benefit from such interventions – behaviour that he noted as “unbecoming”.
“Many times, Ghanaians get support or interventions from government – MASLOC, Venture Capital Funds, NBSSI and other funds set up for the private sector. It is unbecoming that people do not have the sense of repayment.
“Billions are being rolled out. If these monies go out and Ghanaian youth do not pay, then the unemployment situation will be worse. The time has come for Ghanaians to stop the abuse of capital from the state,” Mr. Afenyo-Markin stressed.