Social commentator, Sydney Casely Hayford, has said agencies like the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) remain soft targets for corrupt politicians.
“Corruption has been the bane of these agencies, whatever name you put it,” Mr. Casely Hayford stated, as he noted that the malfeasance cited under the erstwhile Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) had reared its head again.
Aside from YEA, other agencies like the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) have also been hit with similar corruption scandals, prompting overhauls from the government.
Mr. Casely Hayford, who was speaking on The Big Issue, was commenting on the financial malfeasance to the tune of GHc 50 million uncovered after an internal audit carried out by new management at YEA.
The amount is believed to be a sum of unearned salaries paid to unposted beneficiaries, funds for official use which were paid into personal accounts, and procurement without adherence to due process.
Explaining how this cycle of corruption occurs in such agencies, Casely Hayford said, “this is what always happens: somebody sitting in government sees GHc 100 million floating around some nefarious agency unattended, with no lion guarding the pit and then suddenly realizes that if we can put somebody malleable in there and somebody who we can use to siphon…This is the way politicians get their hands into the meat. As soon as they realize that there is an avenue with soft control, that is where they go and hang themselves. Then you get the cronies of these persons who have mastered the art of being able to coerce the DCEs and the heads of all these different places to be able to get their fingers into the pie.”
The YEA was established under the Youth Employment Act 2015 (Act 887) to empower young people to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation.
Its objective is to support youth, between the ages of 15 to 35 years, through skills training and internship modules to transit from a situation of unemployment to that of employment.