Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has expressed utter shock at the magnitude of fraud uncovered at the National Service Scheme.
He said it was unconscienable that such large sums of money have been lost to the state through the nefarious activities of persons working for the state.
It has emerged that 23 directors of the NSS including the National Director, Alhaji Imoro Alhassan, allegedly paid GH¢200,000 as bribe to investigators of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to conceal a GH¢7.9 million financial fraud at the Scheme. Ahaji Alhassan reportedly paid GH¢100,000 in his attempt to silence investigators.
The investigations became necessary following reports that a total of GH¢7.9 million was paid to 22,612 non-existent national service persons in more than 100 districts in July 2014.
NSS Dirctor, Alhaji Imoro
Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Friday, October 3, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa described the development as “very disturbing, worrying [and] unconscionable”.
“It defeats the purpose why this national service was established,” the Deputy Minister told host of the Show, Kojo Yankson.
He said although the investigation is still ongoing “What the national security has told us is that the rot is quite deep”.
Mr. Ablakwa was baffled that such “huge” funds could find their way into individual pockets at the NSS, which is just one of the 20 agencies under the Ministry of Education at the time the government is struggling to mobilise resources to improve education in the country.
Joy News initially blew the lid off a criminal syndicate that takes advantage of National Service postings to rob the state and service persons of huge sums of money.
At that time, Mr. Ablakwa said preliminary investigations conducted by his Ministry suggested the incident was not as widespread as the report made it appear. He insisted significant amount of work had been done to ensure the postings were successful nationally.
He has now been forced to retreat from that position following the latest developments from the investigations being carried out by the National Security.
“The indication we have from the National Security is that the entire National Service Scheme is under investigation and that will include the director at the national level all the way to the district level,” he indicated.
He assured: “We will do everything possible to bring to book anybody responsible for this rot and nobody will be spared”.