STUDENTS IN Ghana have declared their support to Government’s 2022 national budget presented to Parliament recently saying it addresses the concerns of Ghanaian youth.
According to the students, the 2022 budget addresses access to funding to start their businesses, reduction in Ghana’s debt and promoting private sector access to capital, among several others.
A statement issued Thursday, jointly signed by Yiadom Boakye Emmanuel, NUGS President; Christian Armah Philip, USAG President; Stephen Kwasi Acquah, GUPS President; Abdul Manan Dimbie, TTAG President and Faustina Aikins, NAHSAG President, among others, made this known.
“We call on Parliament as part of its oversight to interrogate the budget and to pass it. We will also like to encourage the Ghanaian youth to take full advantage of the YouStart initiative when it is rolled out and while we also ensure that as students we take full advantage of this initiative,” the students stated.
“We applaud the government for removing all road tolls which had contributed to a lot of inconveniences since it created unnecessary traffic on roads among several other disincentives to road users. We call on the government to as a matter of urgency, employ the affected workers.
“However, we would also want Government to give us firm assurance and commitment that the revenue that will be generated as a result of the e-Levy will be used to tackle the things stated in the budget, which includes the YouStart Initiative road construction, developing the digital space of Ghana and particularly the development of Basic Education in the country amongst several others,” they noted.
The students further indicated that the YouStart initiative was of great interest to Ghanaian youth adding that “Lots of young entrepreneurs spread across the various campuses in our tertiary institutions are in dying need of a boost to grow their young business. A push which we believe, would go a long way to reduce the growing unemployment situation in the country. We would like to urge the government to judiciously allocate the resources, i.e. taking into consideration the poor and needy youth who really need this push, to develop their imaginative businesses into reality but not a selected few especially on partisan merits.”
They continued that they would monitor closely at impact of the initiative.
Another issue about the 2022 budget which they commended was the decision by banks in partnership with financial institutions to invest GH¢10 billion into youth entrepreneurship to help young people start their businesses.
Under this arrangement, the youth can go to banks and take loans at low interest rates and not have to use collateral.
“The leadership of the Students Unions highly commends Government for this bold intervention which will help reduce the issue of unemployment in this country and will ensure that young people, after completing their education, will get access to funding. This for us is one of the biggest intervention we have seen in the fourth republic to address an issue of ultimate importance to the youth unemployment.”
“The decision to set up a university endowment as part of YouStart is spot on and novel. We cannot wait for this to be rolled out and for students to benefit from this. Government as a matter of urgency must fast-track the progress towards initiating YouStart and we would closely monitor it to ensure there is transparency in the disbursement of the funds.
“We would like to draw the government’s attention to the many underdeveloped basic schools in the country in terms of infrastructure and teaching and learning materials particularly the provision of textbooks to the basic schools for the new curriculum which has been in full practice for almost 2 years now.
“The Ministry of Finance together with the Education Ministry should allocate a budget to address these challenging concerns at the basic level. Again, we would be very pleased to hear the Government pay the long overdue outstanding six months arrears of Teacher Trainees’ across the 46 public colleges of education in the country. This is to help alleviate the hardships on trainees particularly, those undertaking their Teaching Practices (Out- Programme Segment).”