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Thousands scramble for few Immigration Service enlistment spots

Long winding queues of anxious applicants stretched paste the El Wak Sports Stadium and went as far as the Ghana International School (GIS) nearly 400 meters away.

Some of the distraught applicants were seen squatting while others sat on pavements awaiting their turns, with the others leaning against any available material.

Although there were three different queues for the applicants, including those with Senior High School certificates, university and other tertiary programmes, all the different queues were long and winding.

Food vendors also took advantage of the situation to pitch their trade around the El Wak area by setting up stalls.

In an interview with an applicant, Richmond Lartey, 21, he said he had come to the place as early as 4am and had his turn at around 9:15am.

“I came here early but I was called in around 9:15am”, he told Graphic Online, adding that “I didn’t qualify because they are telling me my foot is not good”.
Another applicant from Madina in Accra who only identified herself as Bernice, said she came to perch at her sister’s place at Mamobi overnight in order to get to the El Wak Sports Stadium early.

“Yesterday, I came to sleep at my sister’s place to enable me come to this place early”, she said and added that “I have gone through the process and passed for the next stage, which is the aptitude test tomorrow”.

For Bernice, the exercise was very stressful considering the many applicants and the very few people that are needed by the service.

“It is very nervous because you don’t know whether you will qualify to the next stage or not looking at the large number of people here”, she stated.

Anthony Oppong, 19, who had been disqualified by his height, said “the exercise is very unfair because I was not even allowed to stand on the thing well before they wrote ‘F’ on my forms”, adding that “I know people who have been qualified here but I am taller than them”.

Speaking in an interview with Graphic Online, the Head of Public Affairs at the GIS, Superintendent Michael Amoako-Atta said “at the end of phase two of the selection process, qualified candidates will be shortlisted and informed of the next step”.

He said after the sale of the application forms, 84,637 candidates applied but only 47,477 candidates qualified and were shortlisted to go through the second phase.

He said out of the 47,477 shortlisted applicants, only 500 will be selected for training and therefore cautioned the applicants to desist from relying on anybody, including immigration officers to get access to the service.

“The recruitment exercise is as transparent as possible and it must be noted that no individual or group of persons can help anybody to be enlisted into the GIS”, Supt Amoako-Atta cautioned.

In addition, he said, “anybody who presents himself or herself as an agent of the GIS and/or middleman must be reported immediately to help the police for his/her arrest and prosecution”.

Below is the regional breakdown of the applicants

Ashanti Region – 7,866

Brong Ahafo Region – 4,411

Central Region – 3,986

Eastern Region – 4,972

Greater Accra Region – 15,704

Northern Region – 1,895

Upper East Region – 1,510

Upper West Region – 954

Volta Region – 3, 928

Western Region – 2,251

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