The National Service Scheme (NSS) has held the first-ever National Service Visitation Day across the country.
It was designed to find out at first-hand how the activities of service personnel were impacting their personal development, user agencies and the nation.
In the current service year, the NSS has deployed 110,324 graduates who are undertaking their compulsory national service in 10 modules/fields.
These are health support, agriculture/agro business, administrative support, rural development, private sector support, urban sanitation, urban traffic, business services and national service support.
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Executive Director of the NSS, Osei Assibey Antwi, said his management had declared July 14 as National Service Visitation Day to embark on official visits to user agencies to interact with their managements and service persons, reports Dickson Worlanyo Dotse.
In Accra, Mr Antwi led a team from the national and the regional offices of the scheme to visit the University of Ghana, where there are 1,501 service persons at post, and the Adentan Municipal Assembly.
The visit, he explained, helped the management to elicit information on the experiences of service persons and the key stakeholders to inform the deployment of personnel for the 2022/2023 service year, which is about two months away.
It also allowed the NSS management to highlight the numerous initiatives being undertaken to enhance the welfare and employability of service persons under the scheme’s new mission of ‘Deployment for Employment’, he said.
Mr Antwi said the NSS was scaling up its income-generation activities to augment the financial support given to it by the government.
“Many national service schemes across the world have failed due to over-dependence on the central government, and we don’t want that to happen here,” he said.
The Executive Director said in the wake of the global economic crisis, there was the need for the NSS to reposition itself to meet the employment expectations of graduates.
To that end, he said, 11 innovative modules were being undertaken.
These are the accounting aid, teaching, Information Technology solution, communications project and agri-business.
The rest are the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture support programme, the Kumawu youth farm project, the youth in housing project, the data and research project, the support programme for sports and the climate change outreach programme.
Stressing the importance of skills development, Mr Antwi said: “We have moved the scheme from its traditional mission of ‘mobilisation for deployment’ to ‘deployment for employment’ to meet the needs of the contemporary graduate’”.
In that context, he urged the various user agencies to dedicate some of their resources to train service persons towards building their skills for the job market.
At the Adentan Municipal Assembly, the Municipal Chief Executive, Daniel Nii Noi Adumuah, said the assembly was willing to collaborate with the NSS in various sectors to create jobs and develop the municipality and the country as a whole.
He said the assembly had already embarked on some projects which needed the expertise of university graduates and would thus seek collaboration with the NSS in that respect.
From Kumasi, Emmanuel Baah reports that the Ashanti Regional Director of the NSS, Alex Opoku Mensah, led officials to visit the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Fan Milk PLC Ghana in Kumasi, the Yaa Asantewaa Rural Bank in Ejisu and Nickseth Construction Limited in Kumasi.
Mr Mensah emphasised that out of the usual 22,000 to 24,000 persons posted to the region every year, only about 16 per cent were posted to private institutions, and that the authority was working at increasing the number to at least 35 per cent.
At the KNUST, the Dean of International Relations, Professor Daniel Addai Duah, lauded the NSS for its new mission, which he said was also timely.
From Tolon in the Northern Region, Mohammed Fugu reports that the Regional Director of the NSS, Rev. George Gado, visited some user agencies to interact with their managements and service persons in the Sagnarigu and the Tolon districts.
In an interaction with the managements and the service persons at the various institutions, Rev. Gado said: "The NSS is shifting from the usual deployment to creating job opportunities for the personnel to help address the unemployment situation in the country."
Upper East institutions
The Upper East Regional Director of the NSS, Vincent Garbi Kpolu, led a team to visit eight institutions and user agencies, reports Gilbert Mawuli Agbey.
Speaking to service persons in separate engagements, Mr Kpolu urged the management of the NSS to consider deploying more persons to fill the over 5,000 vacancies in the region.
From Cape Coast, Edith Mensah writes that the First Deputy CEO of the Centre For Awareness (COA) Research and Manufacturing Company Limited, Nana Ofosuhene Apenteng, has appealed to the NSS to ensure that the skills of persons posted to institutions were compatible with the needs of those organisations.
The Central Regional Administrator of the NSS, Daniel Dawusu, said the regional secretariat of the NSS was prepared to serve institutions in need of skilled workers.
Private institutions and organisations which use the services of national service persons in the Bono Region have appealed to the NSS to reduce the 20 per cent administrative charges placed on them, Biiya Mukusah Ali reports.
They made the appeal when the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Director of the NSS, Prince Kankam Boadu, led a team to visit selected private and public institutions in the region.
Alberto Mario Noretti reports that some user agencies of the services of national service persons, including the GCB Bank PLC and the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) have indicated their willingness to accept their annual national service postings earlier than September.
They made the suggestion when the Volta Regional Director of the NSS, Ambrose Entsiwah Jnr, and other officials of the scheme visited some selected institutions in Ho to inquire about the performance of service persons at their duty posts.