The Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat (NSS), Mustapha Ussif, has rubbished concerns from the MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, that the secretariat is wasting money by spending $300,000 on a training programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Ussif further clarified that the training programme engaged 17 individuals from “all youth agencies” as well as persons from academia and corporate Ghana.
The programme involves a series of workshop sessions geared towards exploring solutions towards reducing youth unemployment.
In Parliament on Thursday, Ras Mubarak raised issues with the amount spent on the programme which translates to about GHc 1.3 million.
Speaking on Eyewitness News later on, he said, “as far as I am concerned, it is completely an outrage to have spent over 1.6 million for 13 officials to travel to the USA for a training programme at a time where the National service Secretariat cant even meet its obligations as far as paying the allowance of service personnel are concerned.”
The MP also said there was some policy incoherence because Ghana has “other agencies of government whose business it is to build the capacity of youth and provide them with training.”
Workshops are to tackle unemployment
Mr. Ussif, however, defended the move to resort to MIT saying the government was responding to Ghana’s unemployment problem and it believed the series of workshop’s at MIT presented a solution.
“All this was put together for us to have a two-year intensive workshop to come out with a module that will be feasible for sponsorship from any donor funding… all these efforts are to reduce the youth unemployment in this country,” he explained.
Mr. Ussif maintained further that MIT has “the potential of helping us with the research and analysis to be able to come out with a feasible module.”
He added that these five-day workshops, which sees the 17 persons fly to the US sporadically, are to continue until 2019.