More damming revelations have emerged from the operations of the Nation Builders’ Corps, popularly referred to as NABCO, in the Upper East Region.
A fortnight ago, this paper exposed rot and what seemed a well-planned corruption scheme milking the state dry and giving the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo a bad name.
In the latest twist to the events, it has been uncovered that the Regional Coordinator of NABCO, Mr. Khan Jambeidu, engages in various corrupt practices in the region.
Painstaking investigations by this paper discovered that Mr. Jambeidu has padded the payroll of the programme with several unqualified persons, who are his friends or close relatives, as well as illiterate persons and persons who do not have a diploma or a first degree, though the programme is designed and meant for graduates awaiting permanent employment.
To make matters worse, the mainly ghost recruits are only made to thumbprint for their monthly stipends at the end of the month.
To demonstrate his unprofessionalism and conflict of interest, Mr. Jambeidu has his wife, Zulfawu Iddi, enrolled on the programme. His wife’s father, Mr. Iddi Saeed, is equally recruited on the programme and so are his own father, Issahaku Jambeidu, a retired Ghana Health Service driver, and his brother, Bilal Issahaku Jambeidu, also a serving Fire Service man.
This means, the father, apart from enjoying his pension and NABCO stipends, has taken up a space hitherto reserved for young unemployed graduates.
As if that is not enough, Mr. Jambeidu has one of his grandfathers, Zibril Rufai Mamboda, another distant relative, Mubarik Ayamzua, on the NABCO payroll, but the interesting thing is that both men are teachers on Ghana Education Service payroll.
Mr. Jambeidu is known to be the architect behind what is generally referred to among the NABCO beneficiaries as 50-50.
By that scheme, unqualified recruits are required to offer 50 percent of their monthly stipend to the Regional Coordinator through the District and Municipal Coordinators.
The Regional NABCO boss is also widely known for his demand for sexual favours from female beneficiaries of the programme, refusal of which could result in their failure to access their monthly stipend.
This paper published for the first time details of how corruption and malfeasance has engulfed NABCO in that part of the country.
The otherwise productive initiative to minimize the joblessness in the country has within this short while become yet another milking cow for the Coordinators of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) in the Upper East Region.
The alleged corrupt activities of the Upper East Regional NABCO Secretariat are costing the state millions of cedis through a “create, loot and share” scheme.
“We owe them these opportunities to help them realize their potential. Not only does this assist their growth, but it also helps to secure our collective future,” were the words of H.E the President when he launched the skills platform on the occasion of the first anniversary of NABCO.
In the wisdom of government, NABCO is supposed to augment the employment avenues for the teeming graduates to, among others, reduce the unemployment situation in the country.
Unfortunately, that is not the vision, as understood by the Upper East NABCO office. For them, extortion, plain thievery and bribery seem to have taken the better part of them.
For some time now, some trainees of NABCO in the Upper East Region have been narrating to us what seems to be a well-planned scheme by some individuals at the helm of affairs in the region to privately benefit from the scheme contrary to laid down rules.
Under the condition of anonymity, a number of them allege that the Regional NABCO boss, Khan Jambeidu, has gained notoriety in the business of extorting monies from beneficiaries and has thus normalized the system of kick-back in the operations of the NABCO in the region.
The Bawku Municipal Coordinator of NABCO, Sadat Amandi, is also said to be a forefront engineer in the dubious deals that have ravaged the operation of NABCO in the Upper East Region, prompting disquiet among trainees who, for fear of victimization, have failed to voice out their concerns in the open.
The trainees, among other dubious deals that clearly undermine the aims of the programme and speak of the corrupt activities, allege that, for instance, the NABCO outfit in Bawku, for example, has filled their recruitment and payroll systems with ghost names of unqualified persons whose task is just to satisfy the fingerprint requirement for the purposes of collection of allowance.
These unqualified persons who stand for the ghosts are settled with meagre stipends and the coordinator pockets the rest of the money.
“Beneficiaries must pay a minimum of GHC50.00 to GHC100.00 before their forms are signed for the payment of monthly allowance.
Occasionally, beneficiaries are called to pay a minimum of GHC50.00 to GHC100.00 to the District Coordinator, apparently for nothing.
Upon several enquiries on the purpose of such extortions, the outfit will tell us that they are contributions towards the political campaign of some big personalities of NABCO,” one affected trainee said.
Recently, the scheme is said to have recruited people to replace some other persons who had left the programme. The Regional Coordinator, Khan Jambeidu, while taking newly-recruited persons through how to fill some forms, including allowance forms, is said to have instructed the would-be beneficiaries to back-date their allowance sheet, as though they were on the program for the past year, without writing dates.
This instruction was strictly supervised by the various District Coordinators and ensured same was done and duly carried to Accra for payment.
“These beneficiaries subsequently received their allowance for one year and two months even though they only worked for just two months. Even before the monies hit their various accounts, the District Coordinators spoke to all beneficiaries about the pending monies to hit their accounts and instructed yet again that, they should withdraw the monies as soon as it hits their accounts and that they shall inform them on what to do with it.
A day after the money hit the account of the beneficiaries, Khan Jambeidu, through his District Coordinators, sends round the detail of an account created two days earlier for them to pay back the monies into it.
The account is alleged to be a Consolidated Bank Ghana Account, with the following details:
Account Name: NABCO Regional Accounts Upper East
Acc No: 1316941100001
Bank: Consolidated Bank Ghana.
The account is believed to have been created as a vehicle to steal by the leaders of the programme in the Upper East Region.
In one of such instances, the issue is believed to have prompted the Chief Executive Officer of NABCO, Dr. Anyars Ibrahim, to write letters dated April 15, 2020 to trainees who benefitted from such payments.
In the letter, the CEO claimed “an error in validation by systems resulting in an overpayment made to you on Thursday 2nd April, 2020” and that “all other sums paid you from January to December 2019 are to be fully refunded by 17th April, 2020, else we will request appropriate state institutions (namely the police, the Bureau of National Investigations or the Economic and Organized Crime Organization) to pursue this as a matter that borders on crime.”
“The Bawku Municipal Coordinator threatens us, every single beneficiary to either pay bribe before allowance forms are signed or risk not being paid at all.”
“He is also known for publicly demanding a 50/50 share of the allowance of the beneficiaries for all who could not go to work the whole of the month or risk losing the allowance,” another affected trainee lamented.