Waste management company, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, has rejected claims by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) that it sidestepped the Agency in recruiting some beneficiaries under the Youth in Sanitation module. Chief Executive Officer of YEA, Justin Kodua Frimpong had claimed at a press conference on Wednesday that some beneficiaries employed by Zoomlion are without appointment letters. “…no appointment letters were issued to these beneficiaries…a practice the agency find unacceptable… until now the service provider has been unable to furnish the Agency with the payment record of beneficiaries on its payroll,” the CEO said. But Zoomlion on Thursday issued a statement to counter claims by the Agency, stating that it was not responsible for issuing appointment letters under the contract which was signed in 2006. According to the service provider, “Since the inception of the Programme in 2006, under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), Zoomlion has never issued any appointment letter to any beneficiary under the sanitation module. “Per the Management Service Agreement, employment of the beneficiaries is the sole responsibility of the Agency who then have the mandate to issue appointment letters.” Zoomlion also reacted to the disparity regarding the 38,884 recorded by the Agency as the number of beneficiaries in a recent headcount exercise as against 45,320 in the books of the company. Zoomlion also justified its decision to pay beneficiaries GH¢100 per a month out of the GH¢500 Management fees. “The decision to pay beneficiaries Gh¢100 per month out of the Gh¢500 Management fee was not the initiative of Zoomlion Ghana limited. In fact, at the inception of the module in 2006, beneficiaries were receiving Gh¢50 per month, it was the management of Zoomlion that initiated the move for the allowance to be increased to Gh¢100. So the same Agency which set the initial amount is the only one that has the authority to change it. ” Below is the statement ZOOMLION IS HAPPY WITH ANY RESTRUCTURING OR REVIEW OF SANITATION MODULE OF YEA The Management of Zoomlion Ghana Limited wish to commend the Management of the Youth Employment Agency for its plans to restructure the Sanitation Module of the Youth Employment Programme to serve as a blueprint for other modules going forward. Without preempting any further discussion on the review or restructuring of the module, management however feels compelled to make some clarification on the following issues raised at the YEA press briefing yesterday.
- Disparities in reported beneficiary numbers versus physical count-That 38,884 beneficiaries turned up for the counting exercise by YEA as against the 45,320 recorded by managers of Zoomlion Ghana Limited.
- Beneficiary Apathy: Prior to the Agency’s exercise, there had been series of headcount exercises conducted by 1) the Agency’s regional and district representatives together with Zoomlion Ghana Limited, 2) District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) directorate, 3) the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA’s) and Zoomlion Ghana Limited within a period of two (2) months with the objective of ascertaining the true numbers of the beneficiaries. In all these exercises, the beneficiaries had to commute back and forth from their communities to the district capitals and this may have led to the comparatively low turnout as compared to the numbers of beneficiaries in the album provided.
- Late arrival or ‘no show’ of the Head count team from the Agency to some of the centers. This situation led to most of the beneficiaries leaving the centers out of frustration. A situation which seriously accounted for the team not meeting all beneficiaries to get them to be counted.
- Short notice to the beneficiaries by the Agency upon the team’s arrival in the district caused beneficiaries in the hinterlands to miss the headcount. An example of this happened in Ejura Sekyere-Dumase District
- Transportation: Most of the communities have means of transport to the district capital only on market days therefore it became difficult to travel to the district capital when it is not a market day a case in point is Bole-Bamboi and Bunkpurugu yooyoo Districts in the Northern Region. Beneficiaries also had challenges regarding payment for transportation to headcount centres at the district/municipal capitals and this greatly affected the turnout of beneficiaries to the exercise.
- Zoomlion spent more hours spanning a day to two days at particular headcount centre to ensure that no one was left out compared to the Agency which spent some few hours in a day and hurriedly counted beneficiaries they met and left this resulting in the discrepancy.
- Issuing of Appointment letters to Beneficiaries.
- Payment of management fee