I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion.
Mr Speaker, youth employment is a matter which should not divide this House on political lines. It is a matter which all of us are interested in and we would want to see the young people of our country in gainful employment.
Mr Speaker, no one in this room is quarrelling about putting in place a legal framework which would enable us employ the youth, according to law. [Interruptions]-- Nobody in this House has said that we should not do that.
Mr Speaker, certain points have been raised, which require clarity. First, the Hon Member for Sekondi talked about the porosity of the explanatory memorandum. It is very thin, according to our rules.
He has urged us not to reject it outright but to go back and do some more work on it. This, I do not think is too hard for anybody to do.
Secondly, Mr Speaker, if you look at the Report, there are clear weaknesses; the Report is not tight enough. For example, the Report, in one vein, is talking about a Youth Employment Agency, and in another vein, it is referring to a Youth Entrepreneurial Agency, and then it brings GYEEDA in.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the Report carefully, for example, in section 6.5, everybody knows that the Youth Employment Agency, which we are putting in place, is a new Agency and yet in section 6.5, we are talking about formalising already existing sources of funding of the Agency. When we put it this way, it is almost as if we are referring to GYEEDA.
Thirdly, Mr Speaker, I do not really know where this Youth Entrepreneurial Agency is coming from. Mr Speaker, the Hon O.B. Amoah referred to sections 27, 28 and 29 of the Bill, where District Chief Executives and Regional Ministers are made heads of these institutions in their local areas.
Mr Speaker, it may give the impression that we want to use them as political tools. For example, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and GETFund may have their own structure, where everybody reports to the head. But to use the Regional Minister to chair this Youth Employment Agency at the regional level, it is completely unacceptable. So, let us look at that one.
Also, there is no need to put the
political head of a district as head of this Agency. There is no need at all. So, let us do it properly and this is why I believe that it should go back.
Having said this, Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Sekondi pointed out that in the Budget Statement, the Minister for Finance or the President complains about the inflexibility in the management of the economy.
So, how can we talk about fiscal discipline, expenditure rationalisation and at the same time, be undertaking to expand our expenditure by absorbing this into what we say is the Civil Service? How can we do that?
So, where in lies the space? We are further constricting the fiscal space which the Hon Minister for Finance would require in order to be able to operate the budget. If you consider the sources of funding, Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Ranking Member for the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture referred to certain portions of the Constitution and I think we should take another look at it. Taking moneys from the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) may well be illegal. So, let us take a look at that again.
Mr Speaker, on the basis of the high porosity of the memorandum and the weaknesses of this Report, I would suggest that we take a second look at it and not go ahead full stream. [Interruption] For those who are saying, no, perhaps, they should also contribute.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.