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Be transparent in your operations – NGOs urged

Dela Ashiagbor

Mr Dela Ashiagbor, Director of Non-Profit Organisation Secretariat (NPOS), has called on operators of non-profit organisations to ensure transparency in their operations.

He said there were 11,640 recognised non-profit making organisations operating in the country and it was necessary NPOs regulated the sector to ensure the organisations do not indulge in fraudulent activities at the expense of the public.

Mr Ashiagbor said his office was liaising with other relevant stakeholders such as the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) and other actors, including the banks to ensure due diligence in their financial operations.

He said Organisations that went contrary to laid down procedures would be dealt with and if necessary prosecuted.

The Director was speaking to the media on the sideline of a day’s training for District Assembly Social Welfare Department and Community Development Directors in Ho on Friday.

The training was based on functions of NPOS, money laundering, terrorist financing and how to tackle the identified challenges with call on the participants to play their roles effectively, especially with a focus on community-based NGOs as well as crowd fund raising.

Mr. Ashiagbor said cybercrime and other financial crimes could also be traced to NGOs, hence the need for the establishment of NPOs to regulate and bring sanity to the sector.

Mr. Ashiagbor said the criteria to establish an NPO was anchored on zero criminal record of Founders and a functioning Board, adding “Failure to meet the requirements will have your application rejected.”

He urged them to also have interest in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable ones in society as perpetrators could hide behind the NGO sector to indulge in such acts.

The Director said, “we should be able to create a philanthropic environment for public spirited entities to contribute and avoid relying on foreign sources of funding for NGO activities,” adding create the conducive atmosphere to earn public confidence.

Participants at the training applauded NPOS and said the programme would help track down individuals in the NGO sector, who perpetrate fraud on donors.

The various directors were drawn from all 18 assemblies in the Volta region, including the Oti region and parts of the Eastern region.

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