The Board of the National Service Scheme has asked the entire management of the scheme to proceed on leave with immediate effect.
This comes after it emerged that the scheme’s Director, Alhaji Imoro Alhassan allegedly attempted to offer GH¢200,000 bribe to security officials investigating widespread corruption in the national service scheme. Ahaji Alhassan reportedly paid GH¢100,000 in his attempt to silence investigators of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to conceal a GH¢7.9 million financial fraud at the Scheme.
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. Joy News’ Fred Smith reports Friday from the National Service Secretariat, where the crunch meeting was held. The Board, led by Mrs. Gifty Mahama, took the decision that management should step aside for ongoing investigations to be completed.
“Minutes of that meeting are being typed and once that happens, the scheme will issue a statement to that effect,” Fred reported.
Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa earlier expressed utter shock at the magnitude of fraud uncovered at the National Service Scheme.
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.
He said it was unconscionable that such large sums of money have been lost to the state through the nefarious activities of persons working for the state.
He assured: “We will do everything possible to bring to book anybody responsible for this rot and nobody will be spared”.