Osei Assibey Antwi
Another batch of Ghanaian youth is about to commence the National Service Scheme (NSS), a requirement for all graduates of tertiary institutions.
Like every institution, the ensuing years bring in new experiences occasioned by emerging challenges.
This year’s Service Year is special. A new Executive Director has assumed the headship of the scheme. The new man on the command seat is Osei Assibey Antwi. He has reportedly announced that he would engage with the private sector to inform them about the scheme’s readiness to provide it with relevant professionals, of course, at a reduced cost.
That is an innovation which of course would visit a boost on the NSS.
The NSS and the private sector do not have a serious linkage it would appear. It is this somewhat disconnect which informed the new NSS chief’s planned engagement. Most service personnel go to public institutions and not the private sector as it were.
In a country where the private sector has been regarded over the years as the engine of growth, it is amazing that this segment of the country has been benefitting from the pool of human resources that the NSS brings with it.
We do not know why that has been the case over the years. Like the new NSS chief said, the NSS handles thousands of engineers, doctors, journalists, accountants and many others; a fact which the private sector has not sufficiently tapped into.
We are excited about the Executive Director’s announcement and hope that the outcome would inure greatly to the interest of the whole nation.
Even before the implementation of the new engagement with the private sector, it is our wish that the NSS will periodically review its operations.
Periodic innovations would certainly enable the NSS to avoid becoming static.
We noticed gleefully the introduction of agricultural activities in the scheme, an innovation which added to the stature of the scheme in a large measure.
There is no doubt that the large of human resources the NSS offers is underutilised by the country. Only an engagement with the private sector would open up the scheme for the benefit of other segments of the country and accelerate of course our development agenda.
Those who engage service personnel should appreciate the importance of the scheme and afford them the opportunity to serve and learn simultaneously. The experience they garner from the year-long service should prime them for a post-service job in either private or public sector or even self-employment.
We look forward to seeing the engagement of more service personnel in the private sector.