General News of Friday, 1 December 2017
The National Service Scheme (NSS) has denied suggestions that the compulsory insurance package meant for all service personnel in the country was being imposed on them.
According to the NSS, the service personnel had backed the insurance package and even pushed the management of the Scheme to implement it.
The NSS earlier this week directed all regional directors to ensure the deduction of Ghc15.00 from the allowances of all National Service Personnel effective November, as part of the implementation of the package.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Thursday, the Executive Director of the NSS, Mustapha Ussif, revealed that the National Service Personnel Association of Ghana (NASPA), the group which represents service personnel across the country, decided unanimously at their Congress to back the policy.
He stated that it was based on the decision by NASPA that the NSS had decided to go ahead with the implementation of the insurance package.
“We are not imposing the insurance on National Service personnel. Sometime in May, between the 22nd and 24th, NASPA, at their own Congress, passed a resolution that they wanted the management of the Secretariat to support the implementation of an insurance package for all service personnel across the country. When they submitted the resolution to me on May 26, I called on them to brief me on it. It was based on this that the National Service is only facilitating. So if any service personnel have any grievances, they have their constitution and they know how to resolve any issues they have,” he said.
Some Service Personnel oppose insurance package
Some National Service personnel have opposed the policy, calling for it to be made optional, with each personnel being allowed to decide whether to accept the package or not.
There have been calls for the package to be scrapped given the opposition from some personnel, however, according to Mustapha Ussif, the policy has gained widespread support from the beneficiaries, some of whom have presented a petition calling for it to be retained.
“Majority of national Service personnel across the country are also in favour of the insurance package. It was a unanimous decision at Congress, there wasn’t a dissenting view. So where were those people who aren’t in favour when the resolution was passed?,” he queried.
Mustapha Ussif called on personnel who had issues with the policy to go through the internal channels of their National Association to air their grievances.
He insisted that, the decision was taken in the best interest of the service personnel, but if NASPA collectively calls for a revocation of the insurance package, the NSS would have no choice but to revise it.
“It’s true that I am the boss of the National Service, but I don’t dictate to NASPA. They have a Constitution which is a legal document. Once they take a decision at their Congress, if any service personnel aren’t happy and have grievances with whatever decisions their leadership have taken, they should follow those grievances and resolve it. If their leadership come back to me and say they have revoked their decision, I can only support them,” he said.
“We are here to ensure that their welfare is catered for, I have no interest. My interest is to ensure that service personnel across the country do their programme, are able to learn basic skills and become employable after their service and also be able to bring in new models like technologies and innovations. If so-called experts are saying the insurance package is not right, then the leadership of NASPA should go back and revise their decision and let me know, then I can take a decision based on that”.
The insurance package
The NSS partnered with MTN and Glico Life Insurance, earlier this week, to launch the life insurance cover for the over 90,000 personnel.
This compulsory insurance package spearheaded by various insurance companies is expected to pay claims to service personnel who get involved in accidents in their line of duty.
The claims vary from GHc 15,000 in cases of death or incapacitation and GHS3,000 for cases of disability.
As part of the insurance package, National Service personnel are entitled to a GHc 500 loan which is payable within six months.
NSS insurance meant to reward NPP financier – Kpessah Whyte
A former Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Dr. Michael Kpessah-Whyte, had alleged that the compulsory insurance package for national service personnel is a venture to pay back a financier of the governing New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) election campaign.
According to him, the insurance scheme may have been put together to reward the owner of a known insurance company, who supported the NPP’s campaign with GH¢1 million.
He is thus of the view that the policy is not in the interest of National Service persons, and that it constitutes “daylight robbery“.
NSS insurance scheme not a reward from NPP – GLICO
However, GLICO Life has denied allegations that its engagement with the NSS to provide an insurance package for National Service personnel, is a reward for the company because the owner was a financier of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The Managing Director of GLICO Life, Forkuo Kyei, in a statement to citifmonline.com said the allegations are unfounded as GLICO Life is part of five other companies offering the insurance package to the service personnel.