Address By President Akufo-Addo At The Passing Out Ceremony For 100,000 Nation Builders Corps Trainees

I begin with words from Holy Scripture, in Psalm 118 verse 24, and I quote, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Today is a very happy day for me. It is a day when we begin the process of banishing the spectre of desperation, and restoring hope and dignity to our youth.

Vice President, ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that, on Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, I launched the Nation Builders Corps programme, a programme designed to assist in the public sector delivery needs of our country. In addition to creating employment avenues and opportunities for young people who hold diplomas or degrees from accredited tertiary institutions, the scheme would engage the raw talent of our graduates, and equip them with skills, through a process of value-addition and training.  

However, as has become the norm with every bold initiative proposed by this administration, this programme, predictably, was not only ridiculed in certain quarters, but also met with pessimistic and sceptical comments, with some going to the extent of urging graduates from our nation’s tertiary institutions not to register for the programme.      

The one hundred thousand (100,000) young men and women, who are present, did not listen to the loud cries of the cynics and ‘Jeremiahs’. They rose up to the challenge, signed up for the programme, took part in the rigorous selection process, and are passing out as Ghana’s first NABCO trainees. I salute all of you, young men and women, for taking this innovative step to lay the foundation for your future careers, and, at the same time, contribute your quota to the growth and development of our nation.

The one hundred thousand (100,000) NABCO trainees will be deployed in seven critical aspects of our economy, i.e. education, revenue mobilization, agriculture, health, governance, digitisation and the private sector. They are going to assist in the realisation of Government’s vision of an educated population, an industrialised, robust and well-manged economy, the delivery of good governance, and, for the sustenance of all these, a reliable, skilled and efficient workforce.

Additionally, the NABCO trainees will be engaged in a structured work and learning programme environment. For every four weeks of work, one week will be dedicated to acquiring soft, future employability, and work readiness skills. Within three years, NABCO trainees would have obtained 36 weeks of solid training and value addition to enable them transition smoothly into the world of permanent work. By this, we would have also addressed the very issue that keeps our graduates out of the labour market, in spite of their educational qualifications.

The managers of the programme have struck up a partnership with the Council for Technical, Vocational and Educational Training (COTVET), and some universities, both domestic and foreign, for the validation of the content of the learning programmes, so that the trainees receive appropriate certification of their skills and training for their deployment to the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service, Information Services Department, Local Government Service, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In NABCO, we have planted the seeds of the growth and future of our country. I am in no doubt, whatsoever, that NABCO will succeed. When the current trainees are about to exit the programme, present concerns over their future will appear moot. This is because trainees would be equipped, and will thrive without recourse to NABCO planning their exit arrangements.

Nonetheless, the scheme has well-constructed and clearly defined exit routes. Our public services and institutions, having benefitted from the services of NABCO trainees over the three-year period, will, naturally, have opportunities that allow the retention of trainees, who have justified their value. Another pathway is the building of an entrepreneurial base among the trainees. The Ministry of Business Development and the National Entrepreneurial and Innovation Plan are involved with this exit pathway. The goal is to have five hundred business leaders mentoring 500 NABCO trainees under the Enterprise Ghana module. A dedicated fund, amounting to the equivalent of their third-year allowances, is to be made available for them to start their co-operative ventures. An equivalent matching fund will be sourced from a private investor to complement the GH¢4.5 million fund.

Again, we have employed creativity in the design of an exit pathway focussed on education. For example, the University College of Education Winneba, and University of Cape Coast, are to provide academic support to train the many NABCO personnel with Diploma in Basic Education. This will provide them with certificates and guarantee careers in the early childhood care and development sector.

I admonish our NABCO trainees to be dutiful and productive in the areas you have been assigned. I urge you to demonstrate, on a daily basis, that you value knowledge as a basis for effective performance and productivity. You must show your professional credentials through timeliness and punctuality, and, above all, live beyond reproach so you can discharge your responsibilities with efficiency, so that all, at the end of the day, can vouch for your integrity. Your performance will be monitored through an innovate mobile application, which will be deployed soon.

NABCO trainees must bear in mind that Government is investing some GH¢3 billion of taxpayer’s money into this programme. Your monthly stipend of 700 Ghana cedis is not free money, and you must earn every pesewa of it through hard work and dedication, which I am confident you will do.

To the Ghanaian people, you will feel the presence and contribution of these one hundred thousand (100,000) NABCO trainees in your towns and villages, your constituencies and districts, and in critical sectors of the economy. Work with them, and believe that, together, we can build a progressive and prosperous nation, the equal of any on the face of the planet.

I cannot conclude these brief remarks without paying tribute to the invaluable contribution to the take-off of this programme by my brilliant Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and his hardworking team, whose dedication and leadership, from the time of conception through to implementation, has led us to this point.

I know I am not alone in aspiring to see a transformed Ghana, which has joined the ranks of developed nations, and moved to a situation beyond aid, i.e. a Ghana Beyond Aid. As you return to your respective destinations to commence work, your marching orders are clear – help build a nation you will be proud of. Live by the core values of knowledge, punctuality and integrity. Live as nation builders. Let us, together, fulfil the dreams of progress and prosperity that animated the great patriots whose toil and sacrifice brought us our freedom and independence.

Accordingly, Vice President, ladies and gentlemen, I declare the NABCO trainees ready for work.

May God bless NABCO, and may God bless us all and our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong.

I thank you for your attention.



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Ghana, is a west African country, bound on the north by Burkina Faso, on the east by Togo, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean,and on the west by Côte d'Ivoire.

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