The Central Region Secretariat of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) is under intense pressure to come clean on allegations leveled against the head of the programme in the region, Nana Osibey Quansah, of extorting monies from some district deputy coordinators of the programme.The Chronicle has learnt that after the paper’s expose of the rot in the regional offices of the NYEP in its publication on Friday, May 20, 2011, an emergency meeting was called that same day by Nana Osibey Quansah to discuss the issue, and come out with a press release to deny the story.

Notice of the emergency meeting was conveyed to all the seventeen coordinators and their deputies in the region at around 10:30 a.m.

The said meeting, which was closely monitored by The Chronicle, started at 3:00 p.m., and ended at 6:25 p.m. at the conference room of the Central Region Coordinating Council at Cape Coast.

Among key issues discussed were how to publicly deny the story, by drafting and circulating a press statement to all the media houses in the country, and also to gag Isaac Abeiku Nyanful, the deputy coordinator of the programme in the Ajumako Essiam district, who is under indefinite suspension, without pay.

Nana Osibey Quansah suspects that Mr. Nyanful might be the brain behind his predicament, hence the decision to gag him, and prevent him from releasing more ‘bombshells’ to bring the programme into further disrepute.

The Chronicle can authoritatively report that all coordinators and their deputies in the region were compelled to append their signatures to a piece of paper, to enable the secretariat attach it to a prepared press statement for circulation to all the media houses today, May 23, 2011.

“We were not willing to do that, but had to do it under duress,” complained one of the district coordinators, who spoke to The Chronicle on condition of anonymity.

The idea, The Chronicle learnt, was to portray to the whole world that their head, Nana Osibey Quansah, was clean of the allegations leveled against him.

Nana Osibey Quansah was alleged to have extorted monies from some deputy coordinators of the NYEP under his jurisdiction, with the promise of renewing their contracts when it expires in September this year.

All the coordinators and beneficiaries under the programme have a two-year contract, which began in September 2009.

About half of the deputy coordinators’ allowances were delayed for five months (September, October, November, December and January). Others too had their allowances delayed for eight months (September, October, November, December, January, February, March and April).

Those who had their allowances delayed for five months were paid GH¢2,000, in addition to the February 2011 allowance.

Those with eight months arrears had GH¢3,200 paid, in addition to the May 2011 allowance.

Some of the deputy coordinators interviewed alleged that Nana Quansah demanded 50% of the arrears paid to them, with the explanation that the money was to be given to the NYEP authorities in Accra.

An additional GH¢400 was allegedly demanded from the deputy coordinators to help facilitate the activities of the Regional Headquarters.

Part of the money, The Chronicle learnt, was to be used in maintaining the Regional Coordinator’s personal vehicle, which he had been using to facilitate the activities of the programme in the region, until the programme allocates an official vehicle to him.

However, when contacted on his cellular phone, he denied taking money from his subordinates, “My hands are clean,” he retorted.

The Chronicle is reliably informed that due to the aforementioned problem a five-member committee, comprising the Regional Coordinator himself, Nana Osibey Quansah, his deputy, Nurideen Kobina Issah, Abdulai Amoh, deputy NYEP coordinator for Twifo Heman-Lower Denkyira, George Aggrey, deputy NYEP coordinator for Asebu Kwamankese and Elvis KorankyeTaylor, NYEP coordinator for Cape Coast, was put in place to draft the press statement on Saturday, May 2, 2011.

The committee was to meet the rest of the district coordinators and their deputies and discuss the content of the press statement on Sunday, May 22, before finally circulating it to the media houses on Monday, May 23, 2011.

The Chronicle was singled out as not to be given access to the press statement. This reporter was accused of harassing officials at the NYEP headquarters in Accra for information about the programme in the Central Region.

According to Nana Quansah, none of the coordinators should ever be afraid of losing his job, since the authorities of the programme in Accra were solidly behind him.

Last year, the District NYEP Coordinator of Gomoa West, Alex Gyimah, was suspended from the programme for transferring unclaimed allowances into a different account at Winneba.

In February this year, the Ajumako-Enyan-Esssiam (AEE) District Coordinator of the programme, Andrews Kojo Dodoo, was cited for pocketing GH¢7,600 belonging to beneficiaries under the Community Education and Teaching Assistants (CETA) programme of the NYEP.

He was subsequently relieved of his position, with his deputy, Isaac Abeiku Nyanful, who confirmed the corrupt act, suspended without pay, pending further investigations.

The operations of the Assin Rural Bank, bankers of the beneficiaries of the programme in the AEE district, were also ordered by the NYEP headquarters in Accra to be investigated.

But till date, The Chronicle investigations have proved that no investigation has been conducted into such acts.

Even the three-member committee, which was set up by Nana Quansah to investigate the corrupt act, was questioned by the District Chief Executive, Peter Light Koomson, who argued that they would run into problems, since Accra had already taken a decision on the matter.

Mr. Nyanful is still on suspension without pay, but when The Chronicle contacted Nana Osibey Quansah over the issue, he noted that his allowance was accumulating, and “will be paid as soon as the investigation is concluded.”

He told this reporter that investigations into the matter started long before The Chronicle story was published.

In April this year, the Awutu-Senya District Chief Executive, Adams Nuhu, had to suspend the NYEP Coordinator in his district, James Courage Awuah, to save the image of the programme.

Mr. Awuah was allegedly accused of unduly extorting money from applicants who had applied for jobs under the Health Extension Workers (HEW) programme in the district.

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has recommended his suspension, after concluding its investigations into the alleged financial malpractices in his administration.

However, in spite of Mr. Awuah’s wrong act he has been appointed acting District Coordinator of the programme in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District, under the watchful eyes of Nana Quansah. Alex Gyimah, The Chronicle learnt, is also back at his post.

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