The Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi has urged the new personnel posted to various user agencies, both private and public to accept their placements and work harder to improve their organizations to enhance the total development of the country.
He stressed that, since the national service was service to the nation, it behoves them to exhibit their sense of patriotism and commitment to the socio-economic development of the country.
Speaking to the media after the release of the postings of the 2022/2023 personnel, Mr. Assibey Antwi said, aside from contributing to the national development growth, the postings also offered them the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge acquired in school, obtain hands-on experience to establish their own business and furthermore prepare them for the world of work.
“By this, you stand tall in dedicating your unflinching love to serve in any capacity and within any geographical location,” he said.
Additionally, he advised the service persons to desist from engaging middlemen to change their postings and rather focus on excelling at the tasks they would be assigned when they assume duty.
The admonition came on the back of the release of the postings of a total of ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY (115,240) prospective service personnel who enrolled to undertake their mandatory national service for the 2022/2023 service year.
The NSS Executive Director said his outfit had not contracted the services of any third parties to carry out re-postings, hence those who patronise such avenues do so at their own risk.
He stressed that the scheme does not convey information through WhatsApp platforms, saying service personnel who relied on such platforms for updates, did so at their own peril.
“There are a lot of unscrupulous and diabolical elements who are using the name of the service to do wrong things. NSS does not have any official WhatsApp group. We do not work with personnel through WhatsApp. We have a platform at our headquarters that we use to communicate with our clients”. he stressed.
He however called on the general public to disregard any information that does not come from the right source.
Mr. Assibey Antwi further urged the prospective personnel to take advantage of the service to get experience and sharpen their skills in order to enter the job market.
“The service period affords personnel the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the job environment, and also learn employable skills such as teamwork, diligence and punctuality to adequately prepare them for the permanent engagement after the service. Embrace this wholeheartedly since these skills are acquired by personnel who remain committed, and work closely with staff and management of the institutions they serve,” he advised.
Sharing his personal experience, Mr. Assibey-Antwi recounted how unhappy he was about his posting because he felt it was a punishment. He, however, said he later discovered that the posting was meant to expose him to vital life experiences and contributed significantly to his fortunes in life.
“When I was posted to a village some years ago, I thought the Scheme was punishing me not knowing, they were preparing me so that when I become a director at a higher place, I am able to make informed decisions because I have tasted both the city and the village life,” he said.
“Some will be posted to urban centres and the cities, whilst others will be posted to rural communities and villages. You should therefore be undaunted and be focused and work hard and this could in future have a nice experience for posterity”.
The NSS Executive Director also reiterated that national service was a mandatory requirement for anyone who had tertiary education and must be fulfilled with the patriotism it deserved. Mr. Assibey-Antwi warned that those who evade the process will not be eligible to work in public institutions in the country adding that it’s a LEGAL requirement under the GNSS Act 426 of 1980.
User agencies feedback
Touching on feedback from user agencies, he said the NSS's first-ever nationwide visitation exercise, had enabled 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.
“Per the Scheme’s vision and investment opportunities, the visit had 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. Assibey 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 overdependence on the central government, and we don’t want that to happen here. 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,” he added.
Underscoring the significance of skills development, Mr. Assibey Antwi stated: “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”.
Within that context, he urged the various user agencies to dedicate some of their resources to training service persons towards building their skills for the job market.
He advised the service personnel to use the service period as an opportunity to sharpen their skills to make them viable in the job market.
Mr. Assibey-Antwi said the service period provided a unique year-long opportunity for NSPs to learn proper corporate governance practices, which is the major skill required by most organisations in the country.
“In this day where finding jobs has become a difficult task, I urge you to take your work seriously when you begin your service. Use this period to improve your competencies; learn how to start and manage your businesses, so you don’t find yourself wanting after Service,” he said.
He advised them to be disciplined, courteous, hardworking, and exhibit a high sense of professionalism wherever they would find themselves and ensure that “your actions conform to the laws of this country”, he added.