PUSAG statement: NSS intention to post students to direct traffic is inappropriate

Stakeholders of Education, partners in national development, civil societies, Ghanaian students, and our cherished friends in the media, I am humbled and as it has been bestowed upon me – Elias Zigah (National President for the Private Universities Students’ Association of Ghana) and on behalf of the National Executive Council and the entire students of the private universities, want to present our candid position regarding the initiated programme by the National Service Secretariat to deploy some National Service Personnel from 2013-2014 and beyond to direct traffic.

On the part of PUSAG, we believe that though Act 426 (1980) authorizes the National Service Secretariat to post personnel to any field of it obligation and that this programme is going to effect some positive changes in the Ghanaian society, nevertheless, it leaves a lot to be desired.

There are many challenges that confront Ghanaian graduates every now and then, and it is becoming very obscured as to what specific role is expected of them in the development of our nation.

The crux of the matter is, National Service personnel involved in directing traffic will not entirely solve the problem of traffic jam in our major cities. The reason being that there is the essential need to improve the road networks in our major cities to substantively better the traffic situation. We also believe that as a nation, it is very important that we set our priorities right to consider the major issues, especially, from the part of our institutions in dealing with the major challenges such as graduate unemployment. For instance, if we consider the construction, improvement and monitoring of the road networks in the major cities, it will automatically generate the much deserving services and employment that National Service personnel and graduates need respectively.

Moreover, there are personnel from the National Road Safety Commission, Zoomlion, Ghana Police Service (MTTU) undertaking this same task of directing traffic. Therefore, with the addition of National Service personnel in this area of services, it would bring about lots of redundancies at this area.

On this basis, PUSAG want to emphatically state that, the intention by the National Service Secretariat to deploy some of the National Service personnel from the 2013-2014 batch to direct traffic is inappropriate, and perhaps, they should reconsider.

However, we wish to commend the National Service Scheme for other laudable programmes such as, the youth in agric and the afforestation of the three northern regions. These are areas that we deem it essential for service personnel to directly impact their quota to the development of the nation.

Futhermore, PUSAG want to suggest to the National Service Secretariat to review and intensify it partnership with the private sector, rather than overflowing personnel to the public sector which is creating a lot of redundancies at the work places. Indeed, it is very obvious that the public sector is choked, since it only employs 6.3% of Ghana’s work force annually.

Perhaps, the private sector, which is the engine of economic growth and employment power house should be the area that government should empower to widen the distribution of more Natioanl Service personnel to this sector. Undoubtedly, this will inevitably create more employment avenues for our graduates.

Finally, the Private Universities Students’ Association of Ghana, on this note want to impress upon the National Service Secrtariat to reconsider the programme of personnel directing traffic, and possibly take a closer look at intensifying it partnership with the private sector. Thank you.

Signed: Elias Zigah Michael Sumaila
PUSAG National President
Media Relations Officer
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