In a recent update from the National Service Scheme (NSS) Secretariat, it has been revealed that a considerable number of young graduates, specifically about 170,000 to 180,000 national service persons, are set to be assigned to undertake their obligatory service to the nation during the course of this year.
The Acting Director of Corporate Affairs at the NSS Secretariat, Ambrose Enstiwah Jnr, has openly acknowledged that this impending deployment of service personnel comes with a significant financial cost to the state, largely attributed to the recent increment in the monthly allowance provided to these individuals.
In a televised interview on News 360, which aired on TV3 on Sunday, July 23, Ambrose Enstiwah Jnr stressed the importance of taking into account the financial implications of the increased allowance rate.
He elucidated, “This year, we are looking at approximately 170,000 to 180,000 individuals who are slated to be posted to their respective assignments starting in the month of September.
As you can imagine, this presents a substantial cost burden to the state, and it’s essential to not overlook the fact that whatever we decide to remunerate the service personnel, the private sector, which also accommodates some of these individuals, will have to offer a matching level of payment.
Should we be careless and establish the allowance at a level that surpasses what they can feasibly afford, it may inevitably lead to a situation where private enterprises are unable to take on service personnel altogether.”
The Acting Director further emphasized the need for a well-balanced approach in determining the allowance rate, considering both the financial capacity of the state and that of the private sector.
Striking the right balance is imperative, as an impractical allowance might dissuade private sector participation in the program, potentially impeding the valuable contributions of national service personnel within various industries.
Notably, the government has already granted approval for an upward adjustment in the monthly allowance from the previous rate of GHS 559 to the current rate of GHS 715. In response, the Ministry of Finance has issued directives to the controller and accountant general to promptly effectuate the new levels of personnel allowance.
Furthermore, in an effort to ensure fairness, it has been stipulated that all national service personnel presently serving in active capacity are entitled to receive arrears covering the difference in the allowance adjustment, dating back to January 2023, and they will be compensated accordingly.
While the prospect of providing a more substantial monthly allowance represents a positive development for the national service personnel, the management at the NSS Secretariat urges patience from all individuals involved, recognizing the necessary administrative procedures that must be meticulously undertaken to facilitate the prompt disbursement of arrears.
It is evident that despite the fiscal challenges presented by the increased allowance, the government remains steadfast in its commitment to continue posting a significant number of NSS personnel, thus affording numerous young graduates the opportunity to serve their beloved nation and acquire invaluable experience in the process.