Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the floor.
In doing so, I would humbly ask my Hon Colleagues to turn with me to paragraph 635 of the 2017 Budget Statement, and Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I would like to read;
“In 2017, the Ministry intends to set-up a Youth Development Authority to harmonize and coordinate all government sponsored Youth initiatives across the country.”
Mr Speaker, we talk about youth development, and you would all agree to the fact that the progress of every country depends on the extent to which the youth are developed. Mr Speaker, in developing
the youth, we talk about developing the totality of the youth; developing them in terms of their cognitive ability, that is, their intellect. We live in the 21st Century where we expect technological advancement. People intuitively think about what we can do to solve the problems and challenges in their various communities. So, if we develop them, we should develop their intellects.
We also develop the youth in terms of their psychomotor domain. Here, we talk about the skills that they need to acquire in the field of sports, artisanal development, et cetera. We also talk about the development of their affective domain.
Mr Speaker, if we just educate our youth without instilling in them God- fearing virtues, patriotism and the need to die for their country, we would only educate them but they would not care if they had to kill to achieve their purpose. They would not care if they had to take the bulk of government's money, use it personally and they are called before committees, they would go and cry. We need to develop them in a manner that would instill such God-fearing virtues in them. So this is what the Government has set off -- to develop the totality of the youth.
Mr Speaker, in pursuant to this, the Government, in line with its Manifesto, intends to set up a Youth Development Authority that would serve as an umbrella Authority to coordinate all -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I used the word advisedly. -- [Laughter.]-- Mr Speaker, an Authority that can serve as an elephant Authority -- Laughter.]-- where all the various models that we have, for example, the Opportunity Industrialisation Centre (OIC) Ghana,
National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), and Integrated Community Centre for Employable Skills
Mr Speaker, these are all models that were set up by the previous Government and which some of them became a conduit for embezzlement. As we speak, we all know what has befallen the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).
Mr Speaker, we would establish a Youth Enterprise Fund and this Fund, in a way, would ensure that, all our young entrepreneurs who want to set up their own businesses would have funds for doing that. Mr Speaker, again, we are going to have an incentive package for such young men and women. The incentive package would be in the form of tax rebate.
The Hon Minister for Finance said that enterprises and companies that are likely to employ young graduates would have tax rebate. This is a Government with a clear vision, and since 1992, when we started this constitutional rule, let anybody stand up and tell us -- with all the various laws we have made, what have we done for the youth of this country? We want to give a concrete assistance to the youth of the day.
Mr Speaker, that notwithstanding, we also look at the infrastructural deficit in our country as far as youth and sports are concerned. We talk of what has been stated in paragraph 643, where the Hon Minister alluded to the fact that we would have an infrastructural expansion, and specifically, we are talking about the completion of the University of Ghana Stadium that was started by His Excellency, President Kufuor, which was abandoned when the NDC Government came to power.
Mr Speaker, for now, considering the project cost as at the time they took over, if they had completed that project, we would have saved this country a lot of funds. That had been some of the hallmarks of the previous Gvernment; they tried to just stop projects that needed to be continued.
Mr Speaker, a special unit of the Ministry would be set up, and that would take care of sporting activities in the various schools. The vision of His Excellency the President is that, once we are able to develop the talents of the youth in our various schools, it would be possible for us to unearth their talents at an early age.
The development of the National Sports College at Winneba as a centre of excellence for all sporting activities is something that is dear to the President. We want to ensure that this is done at the earliest possible time.
Mr Speaker, I want to turn to the area of sports administration. Again, I would want to refer to paragraph 603. That clearly specified the mandate of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. If we look at the sports administration in the country, and the fact that there is lack of proper monitoring and coordination, this country has been subjected to international ridicule for some time now.
We saw what happened during the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup Tournament, when this country had to carry physical cash in a chartered plane to Brazil. We were ridiculed. These are basic administrative procedures that are avoidable.
Do we have to go into an international competition and just at the beginning of the competition, we sit down to re- negotiate what our players are going to take?