President John Dramani Mahama has told unemployed graduates in the country that he’s not a magician who can just flip a wand to ‘put money into people’s pockets’.
Speaking at the GBC Presidential forum earlier this week, the President said such graduates are not taking advantage of opportunities in the system and that if they sit at home, there’s no magic he has that can help them.
Unemployment has been one of the biggest issues driving the campaign, especially its prevalence among the youth who have complete their first degree education. The President has oscillated between taking responsibility for the difficulties in the economy and promising a better second term – or blaming Ghanaians, in this case the graduates, for not being proactive enough.
“The fact of life is that you can only have money in your pocket if you work and earn it and so there is no magic to put money into people’s pockets…That is why government is investing as much as it is investing to try and provide our people with the skills that they need to enter the world of work.” the President said.
He added, “If you sit at home and you don’t take advantage of the opportunities, money is not going to magically appear in your pocket…so what government is doing is investing to create the situation so that as many of our people can take the opportunities as possible; and we are doing this in all sectors.”
According to the President, some students also major in subjects in which there is an overabundance of qualified people, thus putting them at a disadvantage at finding a job.
“There is saturation in some professions that the economy can take, so they won’t have ready jobs once they finish their education,” he added, narrating an anecdote of how he taught for a while after his first degree before getting a chance to do his Masters in Communication.
Interestingly, the President went on to contradict himself, saying difficulties exist currently because these four years have been foundation building, in other words, laying the ground work for coming prosperity.
“The critical challenge that faces every leader today is the issue of creating jobs for young people…we’ve had to make many very challenging decision points and I believe that those decision points have been made in the interest of national progress and development…you suffer to gain… you don’t get any good thing without striving for it. We are going to take Ghana to the next level.
“The heavy lifting has been done. Over the last four years we’ve done the heavy lifting. We’ve been involved in building the foundation. These four years have been foundation laying…and I believe that in my second term, there is not much heavy lifting to be done.” he added.