Trainees of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), have expressed hopelessness over salaries owed them by the government.
According to them, the government has not paid them their GH₵700 monthly allowance for the past nine months, and they are wondering when the arrears will be cleared.
In an interview with the Ghana Report, the National Secretary of the Coalition of NABCO Trainees, Frank Quansah bemoaned how unbearable life has been for them over the months, saying the government has disappointed them.
“It is not easy at all, sometimes we have to rely on our parents for survival or take loans from friends and family. In a day, I receive numerous calls from trainees complaining about unpaid allowances and the suffering they are going through.
“We are really going through emotional trauma. Trainees are complaining bitterly, asking what is the way forward. We have done all we could for government to hear our plea. Government should pay us, we have worked for 9 months,” he said.
In October 2021, the government communicated to the over 92,000 trainees that their services had ended but later asked them to stay on for permanent employment, following public outcry and wide expression of disappointment.
However, the National Secretary said, “Government promised permanent jobs for all NABCO trainees to transition from temporal employment to permanent employment, till today, we have not heard anything. The government again came back with You Start, that NABCO trainees will transition from permanent jobs to You Start but it seems the ‘You Start’ has been thrown into limbo”.
“They have lied to us, that is why is why we are still appealing to the government to clear all arrears.”
He added that they have not received any communication from the secretariat about their allowances and their fate ever since they were asked to continue their services to the nation after the official expiration of their three-year contract.
“We’ve written numerous letters. On 17th February, we went on a demonstration. We petitioned the NABCO secretariat, thinking it will yield fruitful results but we have not heard from them.
“We have had media engagement to send our petition to them but still no response.”
The Coalition of NABCO Trainees are threatening to embark on a demonstration in August over unpaid allowances.
“We are going on a massive demonstration if the government still refuses to clear all our arrears and also give us permanent jobs,” Frank added.
The Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) is a government flagship programme introduced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo under his leadership to ease unemployment in the country.
It was subsequently inaugurated in 2018 with some one hundred thousand trainees getting job opportunities in both public and private sectors under seven modules, namely, Civic Ghana, Enterprise Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Heal Ghana, Educate Ghana, Feed Ghana and Digitise Ghana.
In its earlier stage, there were some hullabaloos regarding its creation and sustainability.
Most people were of the view that the government cannot run the programme successfully while others also had faith in the government.
Last year the programme ended as per the contract letter given to these trainees.
In 2019, there were some challenges with the NABCO payment system as trainees will always have to cry before their allowance is paid. But 2020 came with hope as most of the challenges including the delay in the payment of allowance were solved.
Trainees were receiving their monthly allowance until November 2021.
On February 17, 2022, some disgruntled personnel of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) hit the streets of Accra over the non-payment of monthly stipends owed them.
The protestors claimed the government had not paid them for over six months, and promises of upgrading their contract to permanent status were yet to be fulfilled.