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State Sponsored Exploitation: Employment Scam into Ghana’s Security Services

It is the desire of many graduate youths to have jobs that could help them live in dignity after school. By so doing and looking at the means of getting well-paid jobs, many graduate youths are furthering their education from certificates to Diploma to Degree and from Masters through to PhDs as well as participating in other professional programs. The presumption is to make them more ready for the job market and better to run through the ranks of positions faster than their peers.

The gathered and coded conception is however, far from reality.  After college and university, job hunting becomes more soporific and expensive than college fees. The number of years staying at home, hunting for jobs could be equal or more than the number of years being in school from the High School through to graduating from the university with a Bachelor of Arts, Master degree or PhD.

The lack of job security in the private sector and inability of small enterprises to employ more talents or even retain them because of low returns on investment is causing about 80% of Ghanaian youth yearning to work in the public sector. Yes! Save jobs are important than smart ones in the country and one surest way is to get enlisted into the security services or pay for a vacant position in the public sector.

There exists a sea sand of graduate unemployed, waiting to be fetched into the bucket of the ‘tipa truck’ to put their hard and soft skills into use for nation building. There are also a majority of graduate youths at all levels of the educational ladder, sniffing for the least opportunity to get employed. One of such is the recruitment advertisement into Ghana’s security services.

The advertisements come with the purchase of an e-voucher at a fees of GH¢100 ($17.54). These vulnerable graduate unemployed with little or no savings and who are dependents on parents have to build the confidence and hope to be recruited as government security personnel. After bringing a closure to the sales of security recruitment forms, the Ghana Police Service announced 108,000 applications were received for a vacancy of 5000 personnel in 2021 alone. In other news, the Ghana immigration Service (GIS) also made sales of 84,000 forms for a-500 vacancy in 2018 and over 90,000 applicants for 2,000 positions in the service for 2021.

Government scamming Graduate youths

In every society, the large numbers of youth who are unemployed are likely to be victims of scams and one of such is the government’s sales of recruitment forms of the security agencies. From the above, the Ghana police service alone made over GH10 million ($1.8 million) from the sales of recruitment forms. Interestingly, with a GH50 recruitment forms, the GIS raked in over GH4.2 million in 2018 alone.  The government and security agencies are using the sales of recruitment forms as fundraising and revenue mobilization. Among the huge applications in thousands, less than 12,000 applicants of the five security agencies (Police, Immigration, Fire, prisons and National security) are expected to be recruited in 2021. The high unemployment among graduates and youths make them press hard to complete application forms and prepare other relevant documents for enlistment.

The deliberate intension to exploit these applicants, which had been pre-conceived by authorities, is an open secret. Is this a mere formality? Yes! I think it’s a mere formality to allow recruits to queue at the recruitment centers just to be tortured by the smiling sun while applicants process their documents. You may believe this or not only when you are a victim or yet to be one.

There are more recruitment forms than available vacancy positions making the agencies accruing huge sums from the poor graduate unemployed. It implies that, there are limited vacancies but with unlimited recruitment forms to purchase online. The application process had been made online for transparency yet the system is manned by humans and can also be manipulated by same humans to benefit a class of people through protocol means.

It is interesting to note that, the much touted online application portals of the security services are gradually becoming a scam. The sale and auctioning of public sector jobs have paved the way for the highest bidders making those who can afford the price tags would be awarded the jobs irrespective of your qualification. Political parties, board members of State Own Enterprises (SOEs) and bigwigs of a regime are the administrators of this unlawful scheme. Public institutions especially the security services must show something than to show nothing that recruitments are ongoing.

The clergy, staffs of public institutions and intermediaries have taken over the scheme of helping poor graduate unemployed to commit sums between GH5,000.00 and GH20,000.00 ($900 and $3,800) to secure jobs in the public sector. It simply implies that, once an individual is able to afford this amount it is no more about the use of the online application portal to secure jobs. The majority who could not afford are scammed in the process. The cost of the forms and other expenses incurred by the applicant are gone wasted. Desperation is forcing unemployed youth to fall prey to this obvious scam.

This modern exploitation by state institutions is a norm in our society. The buyer of the job is ready to bid and pay for it and the sellers are ready to collect the monies and offer the vacant position. This is done in a complex process with cartels involved in the process from one institution to the other. Recently, employees of public institutions are not patriotic and this has made the fight on corruption endless. What worsens the situation is the normalization of the scam which has unfortunately become acceptable among unemployed youth who even try to find protocol favor prior to purchasing of recruitment forms.

No country can survive and grow with these exploitations, especially when the government is the lead scammer. We must respect the youth bloc and give them necessary attention to participate in opportunities for national development. Meritocracy should drive job placement in the public sector and transparency should be upheld as a rudiment of democracy. We cannot sell public sector jobs forever, the tables will turn one day.

Remember that, there’s nothing permanent under the sun and government must abolish the recruitment scam of the online application portal and develop and transparent immutable platform that could build trust and prioritize meritocracy, talent and skills for national development.


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Peter Bismark

Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI)




Photo credit: RiddimsGhana

2021-11-06 17:51:11

Source: ILAPI