Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, has said that the defunct Local Enterprise and Skills Development Program (LESDEP) would soon bounce back.
In an address to Parliament Wednesday, Mr. Vanderpuye said LESDEP which went out of operation in 2013, is currently being reviewed to determine its impact and to make it more responsive to the current skills-demands of the youth.
Upon completion, the program would be realigned to the Local Economic Development Policy (LED) and make the MMDAs play a lead role in its implementation, the deputy Minister noted.
LED, Mr. Vanderpuye said, is being designed to give comparative advantage to skills and economic demands of communities and districts.
“So, for example, if Sunyani East has comparative advantage in the production of vegetables, then we will be looking at realigning the LESDEP program in that area towards that particular project so that the youth in the area will benefit more and the district will also benefit more and be able to have more IGF in order to undertake developmental projects.”
No timelines were immediately given but Mr. Vanderpuye who is also the MP for Odododiodoo noted that “Parliament shall be duly informed as soon as the review is completed.”
His comment was in response to a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Sunyani East, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh.
The legislator had sought to find out from Mr. Vanderpuye what the current state of LESDEP was.
LESDEP is a public- private partnership under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development that seeks to; Create and facilitate the acquisition of technical, entrepreneurial and other specialized skills that lead to the creation and management of sustainable businesses by the unemployed youth in the country; and Provide start-up equipment and post-set-up support services.
It also offers financial assistance to its trainees to start their own business.
However, the program has since 2013 been out of operation due financial challenges. It has till date not been able to recover all the money that the government injected into it, especially, in 2011 and 2012.
An additional amount of GH₵84,000,000 that was used to revitalize the program has also not been recovered.
Mr. Vanderpuye told the law makers that “issues of recoveries are all part of the general review being undertaking.”