The Northern Regional Youth Network (NRYN) has described the 2023 budget statement and economic policy of the government as unfriendly to the youth.
The NRYN also noted that “The budget paints a picture of a Ghana without future, which makes every young person with the right frame of mind wants to leave the country.”
This was in a press statement issued by the NRYN, signed by Mr Abdul-Latif Abdul-Rahaman, its Convener and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Friday as its reaction to the budget statement.
The Minister for Finance, on Thursday, November 24, presented the 2023 budget statement and economic policy of the government to Parliament.
However, the NRYN said the 2023 budget statement failed to prioritize the needs of the youth, a situation which left them in hopelessness.
The statement said “A country with youth unemployment rate as high as 12 per cent and with 50 per cent underemployed cannot pride itself with employment solutions such as the YOUSTART. YOUSTART is said to benefit just a meagre 30,000 youth when the youth constitute more than 30 per cent of Ghana’s population.”
It said, “Government seems to be excited in experimenting with the future of the youth through its projects namely NABCO, NEIP and now YOUSTART without a transparent implementation and sustainability plan.”
It added that “Painfully, government has proposed to freeze public sector employment. This feels suffocating and suicidal, especially for young graduates, who have been waiting for years without jobs. All the ‘stabilization’ plans for revamping the economy outline hopelessness for the youth and this is critical, and experts must be interested in joining the teeming youth for the loud cry.”
It said, “It is clear that there will be intensive and severe hardships placed on Ghanaians, especially young people and that is a threat to the security of our dear country and government should not expect to be reminded on the implications of its neglect on key actors of security and stability of the country.”
The statement said “The youth should be accorded some level of respect, but not this kind of deliberate disregard. It can never be a deniable fact that the country is currently faced with hardships, where young people should have been taken into consideration to initiate and implement initiatives to support them.”
It expressed worry that no funds were allocated for the implementation of the new National Youth Policy, saying “We emphasize the hopelessness for Ghanaian youth portrayed by the 2023 budget and largely register our displeasure for the inability of government to prioritize youth in its planning and budgeting.”
It called on the government to look again at the 2023 budget to introduce initiatives to support the development of the country’s youth.
The NRYN is a youth movement focused on promoting peace, security, and stability through empowering young people on their rights and responsibilities and helping young people to create awareness on matters relating to the well-being of individuals and the nation at large.