Expressing mixed feelings about the report, the Ministry said it had not registered homosexuals, neither had it mandated any non-governmental organisation (NGO) to undertake the registration exercise in any part of the country.
Officials at the Ministry, reacting to the publication in the May 31, edition of the Daily Graphic, told journalists in Accra, that they doubt the source of the data.
The newspaper reported that at a workshop, organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), some NGOs had registered about 8,000 homosexuals in the Central and Western Regions.
However, the publication did not mention the name of the NGO, period of the registration or who authorised it and for what reason.
Mr Daniel Kattah, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry, expressed concern about the figure and said the Ministry was aware of the illicit practice, but was mostly practiced underground and offenders when arrested would be prosecuted.
“We don’t register homosexuals, the publication is shocking to us. It is unfortunate the NGOs were not mentioned. The newspaper should have done the Ministry a favour by mentioning the NGOs. Without that we would embark on a wild goose chase,” Mr Kattah said.
He said the Ministry would inform the public about its findings after the investigations soon.
Mr Kattah allayed fears of the public over the publication, and gave the assurance that the Ministry would endeavour to unearth the said NGOs to provide more information on the homosexuals whether they really existed.
He explained that NGOs were registered according to laid down regulations including statement of objectives for its establishment, organisational set up and registration was undertaken at the Registrar General’s Department and a copy of the certificate of registration presented to the Ministry for approval.
However, the Ministry has not received certificate of any NGO authorised to register homosexuals.
Mr Kattah said registration of NGOs in the Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts were done with the approval of the assemblies adding “the objectives of the NGO must be in line with the developmental needs of the assembly before approved.”
He pointed out that NGOs registered for other purposes other than registration of homosexuals must include it in their mandate.
Mr Sampson Nii Trebi, Director at the Ministry said it was unfortunate there were no records of such NGOs at the Ministry.
However, he said the issue would be investigated and appropriate action taken.