General News of Saturday, 5 August 2017
Some user agencies are turning down prospective national service persons who are currently going through the registration process with the hope to begin their service on September 1.
While some of the service persons have been told that there is no vacancy for them at the user agencies, other institutions are rejecting service persons whose courses do not match the services they intend to offer.
Information gathered by the Daily Graphic shows that some prospective service personnel are being taken through a further selection process at the user agencies.
The most affected service persons are those who have been posted to private sector user agencies who fall under the non-subvented category.
Other state institutions and agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the Ghana Cocoa Board, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) are also reported to have received far in excess of the number of service persons they required.
Some of the prospective service persons who spoke to the Daily Graphic said the user agencies had taken their appointment letters and telephone numbers and told them that they would be contacted if they were lucky to be selected to do their service with them.
“I was posted to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. After going through the registration process at the regional office, I sent my appointment letter to the ministry but I was told that they received more than they expected.
“They took my telephone number and those of others, as well as our email addresses and said those of us who are lucky to be selected will be contacted, so I am still waiting for the call,” one of them (name withheld) said.
Confirming the development in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr Ambrose Entsiwah, said the situation was worrying but gave an assurance that the scheme would repost all affected service persons.
“We have received a number of complaints from some prospective service personnel that the user agencies are turning them away. One of the reasons that has been given for this rejection is that some of the user agencies received more numbers than they needed.
“Some of the service personnel also said the user agencies turned them away because their courses did not fit into the activities of the institutions,” he said.
Responding to a question asked on whether the NSS management knew the vacancies available at the various institutions before posting the service persons, Mr Entsiwah said the scheme did due diligence before the postings were done.
“The issue is that most of the user agencies in the private sector made requests for service persons based on their budget before the NSS personnel allowances were increased from GH¢350 to GH¢ 559.06. This increase in the allowance has affected their budget, meanwhile they did not write back to the NSS to reduce the number they requested for.
“Also, some institutions made requests for specific service personnel either because they had sponsored them or have some engagements with them but these requests came late. Such institutions turn down some service personnel and want the scheme to post the personnel they requested to them,” he added.
Mr Entsiwah, however, assured prospective national service persons who had been turned away that efforts would be made to repost all of them before the August 24 deadline for registration.
He urged them to accept areas such as the education support module where many vacancies existed, stressing that “many of the service persons do not want to take up postings at educational establishments, but their services are needed there as well.”
The NSS programme is a compulsory one-year service required of all citizens who are 18 years and above, at the time of deployment. The scheme, which started in 1973, now operates under Act 426 (1980).
One of the objectives of the scheme is to encourage the spirit of national service among all citizens in the effort of nation-building through active participation and promotion of national unity.
It is also meant to provide an opportunity for personnel to undertake projects designed to combat hunger, illiteracy, disease and unemployment in Ghana. Additionally, it helps in the provision of essential services and amenities, particularly in towns and villages while providing a platform to develop skilled manpower through practical training.
In line with this mandate, the management of the scheme has over the years deployed service persons to areas such as agriculture, education, health, local government and rural development.
Per the arrangement, prospective service persons are expected to begin the registration process at regional offices of the scheme where their forms will be endorsed. They are expected to complete the registration process by submitting the endorsed appointment letters to the heads of the user agencies they have been posted to for approval before they officially begin the service.