A security analyst has reminded the government that rampant youth unemployment is one of the existential threats to the security of the nation.
"The high levels of joblessness are a threat to Ghana’s security fabric," he stated.
Mr Adiib Saani made this assessment while reacting to the finance minister’s decision to put a freeze on employment in the public sector in the 2023 budget statement delivered to Parliament last Thursday, November 24, 2022.
He spoke on the midday news on Accra 100.5 FM on Monday, November 28, 2022.
He said the high levels of joblessness have the potential to derail Ghana’s security fabric.
He said the saying that: ’The devil finds a job for the idle hands’ come to play when it comes to security concerning joblessness.
He noted that if the government says it will not employ, it must find alternatives for the teeming unemployed youth.
He added that if care was not taken, the youth will find an alternative in ‘Sakawa’ [fraud, sometimes done alongside ritual killings], robberies among others.
"The youth do not have any option as they have been prevented from engaging in Galamsey, these measures if fully carried out have dire consequences for the country," Mr Adiib expressed.
To reduce public expenditure, the government said it has put a freeze on recruitment in the public sector beginning next year, 2023.
This is part of some 13 measures announced by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in the 2023 budget statement presented in Parliament on Thursday, 24 November 2022.
These measures according to the finance minister are cabinet directives.
The 13 measures are listed below:
1. All MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit systems, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous year’s (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs and SOES;
2. A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023;
3. Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles. For the avoidance of doubt, purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles;
4. Only essential official foreign travel across government including SOEs shall be allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members. Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year 2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff;
5. As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities;
6. Government-sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries and SOEs must be put on hold for the 2023 financial year;
7. Reduction of expenditure on appointments including salary freezes together with suspension of certain allowances like housing, utilities and clothing, etc.;
8. A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for free zone, mining, oil and gas companies;
9. A hiring freeze for civil and public servants
10. No new government agencies shall be established in 2023;
11. There shall be no hampers for 2022;
12. There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs for 2024;
13. All non-critical projects must be suspended for 2023 Financial year