Abubakar Dan Oman, Nana Baah Abu Okae IV flanked by other members addressing the media
Members of the Ghana Association for Private Employment Agencies (GHAPEA) have threatened to hit the streets on September 18, 2018, if government fails to lift the suspension on their activities.
Addressing the media, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Association, Abubakar Dan Oman, said 16 months ago, government suspended the recruitment of employers to the Gulf States due to the activities of illegal recruiters.
The Minister in charge of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour –Awuah, said some of the victims sent to the Gulf States were being maltreated by the employers while others got stranded in the said countries.
According to the PRO of GHAPEA, the reason government gave was that this was to allow the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations restructure the industry.
He said 16 months have elapsed and nothing has been done about it even though they were into legal business.
He stated: “We are fully registered and licensed by the government; we pay taxes regularly and for many years now, we have been playing a significant role in providing thousands of good jobs abroad to Ghanaians and none of our members have ever been incriminated in any illegal activity.”
He revealed that to give a dog a bad name, the licensed agencies have been put in the same ‘bad basket’ with the illegal recruiters, adding “while the legal operators and licensed companies have been suspended, the illegal operators continue to do brisk businesses making the legal ones suffer”.
He continued: “For over 16 months now, we are out of business; our clients in the Gulf are shifting from employing Ghanaians to employing other African nationals such as Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians, Gambians and Cameroonians.”
Adding his voice, Nana Baah Abu Okae IV, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Services Limited, who is also a member of the agency said the licensed agencies through the GHAPEA were the first to complain to the authorities about the activities of the illegal agents especially those engaged in the househelp business.
“In our quest to support the government’s efforts to cleanse and rid the system of illegal agents, we supported the ministry of employment by making significant input into a working document presented to the attorney-general for consideration,” he stated.
He revealed that all members of the agency have also deposited into government chest a total of GH¢250, 000 for the purpose of repatriation and other compensation packages for workers who may find themselves in trouble abroad even though none of the members they recruited have faced any difficulties.
Nana Baah averred that most of their workers had been laid off, compounding the unemployment situation in the country.
He added: “Some of our workers who returned from the Gulf States to visit their families and to return to work have also been prevented from leaving as a result of the suspension”.
He therefore called on government to look into the matter and help them flush out the illegal recruitment agencies from the system.
By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey
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