From Thomas Agbenyegah Adzey, Kumasi .
The Public Employment Center, which is the Labour Department of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, near the Labour Roundabout at Asafo, in Kumasi, has been turned into a prayer center instead of an avenue where jobseekers converge to search for jobs.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Office, which is a public and youth employment center and also accommodates the offices of the Testing Division of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), is now the church auditorium of a one-man church, known as The Gentle Ministry, and headed by Prophetess Mintbrim Akokah Rosina.
Some traders around the Asafo Labour Roundabout complained to The Chronicle about the nuisance the Gentle Ministry Church poses in the area, and the wisdom behind permitting the centre to be used for a church auditorium, including mid-week church services.
The Regional Labour Officer, Mr. Stephen Donkor, when contacted, told this reporter that he was not part of the decision by his Metro Officer to give out the center to the Gentle Ministry for church activities.
He explained that there is a long standing dispute between his ministry and the NVTI over the ownership of the building, which is situated just by the Asafo Labour Roundabout, and serves as the public employment center.
Mr. Donkor said the NVTI deliberately refused to completely vacate the building, even after it had relocated to Suame and still keeps a skeleton staff and some machines at the there, ostensibly not to release it completely.
The Regional Labour Officer told The Chronicle that he is, however, aware of a case concerning the issue, for which the sector Minister set up a committee to investigate. But, his outfit is yet to be informed of the outcome of the probe, and emphasised that he was not part of the decision that allowed the premises to be used by the church group.
The Metro Labour Officer, Mr. Isaac Kamintah, arrogantly brushed off this reporter at his office, insisting that he would only talk to The Chronicle if the reporter discloses the identities of the complainants.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, on December 5, 2018, transferred the then Chief Labour Officer (CLO), Mr. Eugene Narh Korletey, to the ministry as a Technical Advisor, for allowing the Ghana Association of Private Employment Agencies (GHAPEA) to have access to the Conference Room of the Labour Department for private business.
The former CLO has since dragged the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to court over the matter.