The Western Regional Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr Okatakyie AmanKwa Afriyie has called on the Minerals Commission (MC) to establish offices in the various District Assemblies for surveillance and supervisory purposes in the mining industry.
He said there was the need to create awareness on responsible mining to do away with illegal mining popularly called “galamsey” which could be better achieved at the local level.
Mr Afrifa made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the sidelines of the commencement of the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) Week celebration in Takoradi on the theme, “Sustainable Mining for National Development, An All in All Call”.
According to him, the theme and the venue for the national launch was chosen to put a spotlight on the increase in illegal mining in the country and the need to find the best way of mining to protect the environment and create more opportunities.
On the impact of COVID-19 on its operations, he said it had thrown the plans and budget of many organizations out of gear as they either had to lay off or cut down salaries of staff to retain them.
He lamented on the number of rejections of National service Personnel by companies, which resulted in double work for Management who were forced to restart the posting processes all over again.
“Many companies reduced their intake which led to loads of rejections. This circumstance is worrying. Sometimes, you can get the posting but the company might reject your posting and you have to do reposting”, he pointed out.
Mr Afrifa cautioned all applicants of the Scheme to desist from paying people to facilitate their postings, since postings were solely done based on request of organizations.
He noted with concern that national service personnel mostly become disappointed and waste their money in an attempt to get posted to destinations of their choice through a middle man.
Mr Afrifa explained that though request and requirement of organizations influenced posting in a way, and that applicants may try to manipulate the system to get posted to certain destinations of choice, they ultimately get rejected in most cases.
He said it was better to choose an organisation that had correlation with areas of studies to prevent mismatch resulting in ultimate rejection and inconvenience.
“We have had experiences where People come to the office to cry just because an organization had rejected them. Sometimes Personnel will share stories that showed they had offered money to someone else to facilitate their posting.
“The worrying aspect is, you will find a theatre student who is doing everything possible to work with a mining company because many feel they could get the chance to be either employed and paid well, this is a challenge for the scheme and everyone has to be careful, People must choose organisations that match their expertise”, he added.
He admitted that though hackers tempered with their online system at its inception, mechanisms have been put in place to avert the continuous occurrence and that perpetrators caught would be made to face the law.
He in this regard cautioned middle men and potential hackers to stay away from illegal activities around the Scheme’s postings.
“For those who have been duping people, we are collaborating with the National Security to ensure that we weed out individuals who are perpetrating these crimes. I think the best we can do is to publish names of those who are caught duping people”, he pointed out.