By Elkass I. L. Sannoh
The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Mr. Hindolo Sumanguru Trye (in photo), on Friday, April 20, told employees of his Ministry at his New England Ville office in Freetown, that nobody should pay for him/her to be taken to Iraq to seek employment.
Addressing a large gathering of Ministry staff, the Minister said it has been brought to his attention that employees of the Ministry are allegedly collecting money from people who wish to travel to Iraq to look for work.
He said that it was however unfortunate that the people bringing these complaints are not presenting cogent evidence to give the authorities enough grounds to investigate such alleged perpetrators and bring serious remedial actions against them.
Mr. Trye explained that initially when the programme stated in 2005 the job seekers were asked to pay small fees to be used to facilitate their training, but that since Sabie International Security Company based in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, started requesting for ex-service men and security guards, they stopped asking for these fees. He said the only time these job seekers may need to spend money is when they go for medical check up.
Speaking to this paper, he stated that immediately it was reported to him that certain individuals both in the Ministry and elsewhere were asking for money from these jobless young men and women, he called a meeting with the recruitment team as well as the job seekers.
He stressed that if anybody asks for payment to be taken to Iraq or Kuwait such a person should be reported to either the Police or the Anti Corruption Commission.
He also stated that he will not encourage political influence in the scheme and that he will not allow politicians to lobby for any individual to be taken to Iraq, as the employment to Iraq is meant for all Sierra Leoneans irrespective family background, religion, region of origin or political affiliation.