Accra, Sept.23, GNA - Mr Justin Kodua Frimpong, the Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), has said head count and electronic validation conducted in 2017 revealed that 17,607 non-existing beneficiaries under the Agency were receiving monthly stipends during the previous administration.
The appraisal exercise, he said, aided the Agency to save GHc82.5 million annually, which would have been paid to people who were not working.
He attributed the waste of public funds to lack of monitoring and supervision by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC)-led government.
Speaking at the maiden Nation Building Updates, organised by the Information Ministry in Accra, Mr Frimpong said the Agency inherited 62,825 beneficiaries who were receiving monthly stipends.
However, after it conducted a head count and electronic validation, it discovered that only 45,218 were actually on the field working.
In view of that, Mr Frimpong said it strengthened its monitoring and supervision structures and introduced a more transparent and accountable payment system to prevent corruption.
The Agency, he explained, was established to provide employment opportunities for the youth and alleviate poverty across the country.
The Agency had refocused its mission to be more beneficial to youth development, currently operating 14 modules with 143,953 youth engaged nationwide, Mr Frimpong said.
Under its 'Youth in Elite Sports,' Mr Frimpong said 1,000 young professional footballers were being paid GHc500 monthly stipends by the Agency to help develop their talents.
About 5,000 youth had also received entrepreneurial skills and provided with start-up kits and capital to be self-reliant.
The support offered by the YEA had gone a long way to reduce youth unemployment from 18 to 13 per cent within the period.
The Nation Building Updates is a weekly event designed by the Government to provide stakeholders and Ghanaians with detailed updates on key government interventions.
The event, held at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, was on the theme: "Leadership that delivers for the Youth".
Some of the agencies that featured in the maiden event were the National Youth Authority (NYA), Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo), National Board for Small Scale Industries, National Service Scheme (NSS), and National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP).
The participating agencies used the platform to render account of their stewardship and report on the various pro-youth social interventions being undertaken by the Government.
These include the CAPBUSS under the NBSSI, Job Centres of the YEA, the Presidential Pitch and the Green House project of the NEIP, digitisation processes at the NSS, progression into permanent jobs under the NaBCo, and digital marketing and capacity building under the NYA.