General News of Tuesday, 18 September 2018
About 100 people working with various institutions in the country but who have not discharged the mandatory national service required of them have trooped to the National Service Scheme (NSS) Secretariat to enrol onto the scheme to avoid being sanctioned.
This followed the deployment of a team from the NSS to all institutions in the country to enforce requirements under Section 7 of the NSS Act (Act 426, 1980) that enjoins all Ghanaians above 18 years to do national service before they gain employment.
The Executive Director of the NSS, Mr Ussif Mustapha, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra last Thursday, said the provisions of the NSS Act would be enforced to the letter.
“We issued a press release to the public informing it of our activities to ensure compliance and enforcement of Section 7 of the NSS Act (Act426, 1980).
“The enforcement team has already visited a number of institutions and I can tell you that many people have begun trooping to the secretariat to get themselves enrolled onto the scheme or arrange for exemptions,” he said.
Mr Ussif said the team had made a number of observations which would be made public at the right time, stressing that the appropriate legal action would be taken against organisations that failed to do the right thing.
“We will take on companies that have employed or are employing people who have not done their national service.
The law allows employees who were 40 years at the time of graduating from school to apply for exemption from the NSS so if there are any such people, let them come forward and go through the right process,” he advised.
Mr Ussif said the NSS was not going to back down but would enforce the law as that was in the best interest of the country.
Ghanaians living abroad
Mr Ussif disclosed that the NSS had put in place mechanisms that allowed Ghanaians in the diaspora to do their national service back home, as their contribution to the country’s development.
He said more than 200 Ghanaians living abroad who had engineering and other technical expertise had been deployed to assist the Ghana Railway Company and other key sectors of the economy as their national service.
“There are many knowledgeable Ghanaians living in the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere whom we are trying to get, through our NSS international graduate programme, to come down and contribute their part to nation building.
“Most of those who have responded are already helping in the rail sector. There are others who have expertise in drone technology whom we are deploying to the agriculture sector to help in fertiliser application and other services,” he said.
It will be recalled that the management of the NSS withheld the postings of 2,102 applicants for the 2018/19 service year on suspicion of impersonation.
However, in his interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Ussif said 1,469 of the applicants had been cleared and posted to user agencies while the remaining 633 were being investigated by the National Security.