Ken Agyapong exposes Agric Minister on jobs created

Kennedy Agyapong

It appears the controversy over the number of jobs allegedly created by government in 2017 will not be allowed to die off, can report.

The latest to stir the issue again is Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Honourable Kennedy Agyapong, who has previously questioned a 745,000 Agric sector jobs claim made by government.

“The figure is too big. If you employ this huge number as a result of the programme, the impact it will create in this economy, will be huge, me I can’t defend this”, he had said two weeks ago on Adom TV’s Badwam.

This week, speaking on Ekosii Sen Tuesday afternoon with host Philip Osei Bonsu on Asempa FM, the NPP lawmaker again raised questions about the figure. He said he had met the Agric Minister briefly during the President’s State of the Nation Address and the Minister mentioned the issue in passing with him, but the MP, in his usual manner was not one to be gagged: “Even US under Trump who have 300,000 million people created 200,000 jobs, so how did we in Ghana create 745,000?”, he asked.

“The 745,000 jobs is a lie, I still maintain my position. It cannot be true… We are still working, but we shouldn’t lie to the people. As for jobs Nana Akufo Addo will create but we must not lie”, he advised.

The Minister of Agric had told a Press conference that “the Planting for Food and Jobs campaign has absorbed this [rural] labour to the extent that we targeted 750,000 rural labour but we were able to generate 745,000 jobs and these jobs are unofficial jobs. They are not pensionable, they are not tax deductible so you cannot actually measure it like those in the formal sector where you re-registered, you are paid a wage, you have to pay tax and so on and therefore, it is very easy to monitor.”

It is not only the NPP lawmaker who has issue with his party over the job claims.

The General Agriculture Workers Union GAWU, a stakeholder under the Agric industry have also questioned the credibilty of the figures.

The General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) thinks the government’s estimate of 745,000 jobs provided under the planting for food and jobs programme might be erroneous and exaggerated.

Confessing his doubts, General Secretary of GAWU said he couldn’t “vouch for those figures,” and that the figures have to be interogated.