Some personnel of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) hit the streets of Accra on Thursday, February 17, 2022, to demand the payment of stipends owed them by the government which they say have been in arrears for several months.
According to the protestors, the government has not released their allowance for the past six months and is also yet to fulfill its promise of permanently employing them in their various institutions of service after the three-year programme.
Some protestors say they are owed about six months, while those on the Health Module alleged they are owed almost a year.
The protest, which was initially scheduled for Tuesday, February 15, 2022, was postponed after the police said it would not be able to provide them with security.
Speaking to Citi News, Okyere Raymond who is on the Educate Ghana Module serving in the Eastern Region, said his concern is with the failure of the government to permanently give them jobs as he promised.
“The government told us it would permanently employ us after the three-year contract, in October 2021 when the programme officially ended. We were not paid for September and October. We were later asked to return to post, as the process of retaining us was ongoing.”
“We have been at post since October without payment. Last week, we served a notice to demonstrate, and they paid us for September and October, which was part of the first three years of working. Now, for the second part of the service, there has not been any document given us on how much we would be paid, reasons for asking us to return, or how long we would be working for.”
“We want the government to come out plain on what we should expect in this second phase of service.”
Another protester complained that, “Some of us have a family of our own. We need to take care of them and not them taking care of us. My wife is the one taking care of me, it is very bad. Sometimes, I feel like ending it all because life is unbearable. The government should give us permanent employment. For how long can we keep surviving on this GH¢669, which is not even coherent”.
The protest began from Obra Spot, through the TUC intersection, through the National Theatre intersection, Ministries intersection, and ended at the Independence Square.
The protesters had placards with varying inscriptions asking the President to address their concerns. For conveners of the protest, the government has no other option than to listen to them.
“We are very angry, and we are demanding that government should honour his promise.”
The nation builders corps is an initiative by the government of Ghana in an attempt to address the unemployment challenge.
The three-year-long contract with over 100,000 beneficiaries under six modules ended in October 2021.
But the government instructed various agencies to maintain these beneficiaries as steps were taken to finalise their exit. Amongst the options for the beneficiaries was for them to be maintained, continue their education, or venture into their own businesses.
But the protesters say the government is not paying attention to those who want to be maintained.