The Forestry Commission has given assurance that it will pay beneficiaries of the Youth in Afforestation programme their July allowance next week.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, gave the assurance on Wednesday.
Some workers of the Youth in Afforestation programme of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), who are planting trees in selected areas across Ghana, had threatened to embark on a full strike if the government and the Forestry Commission failed to pay their accumulated allowances by the end of this month.
The workers, who have not received payment for over three months, also cited a breach of their contract following a review of amounts to be paid them going forward.
The group that is planting trees in the Achimota forest and Klagon in Accra, this week staged a demonstration to protest the delays.
But Mr. Owusu Afriyie has now told the workers that their allowances will be paid via the E-Zwich platform.
“By a week today, allowance for July would have hit your accounts. You will not be paid if you do not have an account. All payments are through E-Zwich, especially those of you whose records are clear,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the workers who were not happy with the latest announcement are still demanding full payment of their arrears.
“No, we are not happy because they have been giving us promises. The promises have been coming, but we have not seen the actual payments in our E-Zwhich. This is an assurance, and we don’t know if it will come or not,” an aggrieved worker blurted.
“We have given them up to the end of this month to settle all indebtedness. We understand this is a donor-funded project so if funds have been released why should people work without allowances?” he queried in a Citi News interview.
20,000 youth employed in afforestation programme
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has disclosed that his New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government has employed 20,000 young men and women to help manage the country’s forests, combat desertification and tackle land degradation.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the programme is in line with the NPP’s 2016 manifesto commitment of reforestation, forest rehabilitation and forest protection activities.
“That is why today, we are deploying an army of twenty thousand young men and women who are going to help restore our degraded forests. The programme, which has an initial two-year life span, will be extended based on satisfactory results,” he said.