Hundreds of nurses and health professionals are threatening to vote out the New Patriotic Party government in 2020 if it fails to review some terms and conditions governing the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo).
“He [President Nana Akufo-Addo] shouldn’t worry. 2020 is coming. We voted him in and we will vote him out,” some nurses shouted in unison to Citi News as they marched in protest against the Heal Ghana module under NaBCo.
The nurses, who belong to the Ghana Nurse-Midwife Trainees Association and the National Health Students Association of Ghana, want amendments made to the Heal Ghana module under NaBCo.
They are also demanding financial clearance which has not been forthcoming for many months, to pave way for their employment.
“The reason why we are against this policy is that, this policy is just detrimental to our lives. This policy is something that is not going to help us. This policy has no future for the nurses,” one protester told Citi News.
“We feel like the government has lied to us. The government promised us financial clearance in May; not NaBCo. NaBCo is a stranger to us. It came all of a sudden and we are even shocked I don’t think anybody understands it,” another nurse said.
Despite their complaints, the government has explained that unemployed nurses who sign unto the corps will still be posted when they eventually receive financial clearance from the Finance Ministry.
The Coordinator of the Nation Builders Corps, Dr. Ibrahim Anyass, has stated that although there are openings for graduate nurses to be employed under the scheme, application for the jobs is not compulsory.
According to him, the project had been initiated by the government as a stopgap measure to allow graduates from tertiary institutions who had completed their mandatory year of National Service gain vital work experience, while ensuring that they continue to practice the skills they have learnt.
“Government has put in place a graduate employment scheme called the Nation Builders Corps. The Scheme is an enrichment process to add value to any graduate that seeks to become employable in the future in a permanent fashion. That does not replace the natural processes of recruitment in the public or private sector. So the NaBCo project has nothing to do with stopping of clearances for future recruitment except that it guarantees you security to be able to use your talents to practice, especially those who have hands-on skills like nurses…What we are saying is that it’s not compulsory to get onto the Nation Builders Corps, it doesn’t stop your clearance. You are gaining some kind of integrity in terms of your professional practice by taking advantage of this scheme to practice while waiting for your clearance.”