Every year, National Service Scheme (NSS) deploys Ghanaian youths 18 years and above who have successfully completed accredited tertiary institutions to public and private organisations to render mandatory service for a period of one year.
Following the release of postings for the 2021/2022 service year, the Directors of the National Service Scheme (NSS), led by the Acting Executive Director, Mr. Osei- Assibey Antwi embarked on a visit to all designated NSS registration centres across the country to acquaint themselves with the registration exercise.
The purpose of the tour was to engage stakeholders and gather intelligence from the post-deployment registration exercise to enhance the operations of the scheme.
Whilst the Acting Executive Director went with Mr. Kwaku Ohene Djan, the deputy Executive Director in charge of Operations and Armstrong Esaah, Director of Corporate Affairs to Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, and Northern Regions, the deputy Executive Director in charge of General Services, Mrs. Gifty Oware-Mensah also led another team from the headquarters to the Greater Accra, Central and western Regions. Mr. Albert Oteng Owusu, Director of Audit, visited the Upper West Region while Mr. Eric Nyarko, Director of Accounts together with Mrs. Angela Ohene-Boateng Angela, head of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, toured Eastern and Volta regions. Ms Jemima Anokye, Head of Policy Planning visited the Upper East Region.
Mr. Assibey who addressed scores of national service personnel at some designated NSS registration centres across the country during his maiden working visit, stressed the need for service persons to work hard and make a positive impact at their user agencies.
He said national service is meant to build the capacity of young people for the world of work and inculcate in them the sense of patriotism, nation building and national development.
He urged them to embrace the service and exchange ideas and experiences that would make them to be good ambassadors of the state” adding that their behaviour and lifestyles would definitely influence some of their peers for effective national development efforts.
He further urged all deployed national service personnel to accept their postings as part of their civic obligations and contributions to the nation's growth.
While on the tour, the various monitoring teams used the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the new metric app for the registration process.
It would be recalled that this year, the NSS rolled out a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) security feature called ‘metric app’ at all designated registration centres for the 2021/2022 service registrations.
It is a facial recognition software which is unique, highly secured and easy to use to verify applicants during the registration.
The deployment of the app is part of the innovative strategies by NSS to prevent the possibility of “ghost names”.
The metric app is meant to speed up the registration process and also detect impersonation and identity theft by fraudsters.
"We are leveraging technology in line with the President’s digitization agenda to protect the public purse by deploying multi-layered identification and verification systems. Our intent is to make it costly for criminals to infiltrate the NSS operations,” he said.
Since 2017, the NSS has introduced many digital innovations including a paperless registration system, which features barcode scanning, fingerprint verification, an online appointment booking and online certificate request and delivery to enhance operational efficiency and serve stakeholders better.
Mr. Assibey Antwi said the introduction of these robust, self-managed and automated process had since decreased long queues at registration centres, the frequency of human interactions and the margin of human errors committed during registration.
The NSS management cautioned national service persons to avoid involvement in the so-called “special postings” to prevent falling victims to the scams and activities of some unscrupulous individuals extorting monies from them with the promise of reposting them to their preferred organisations. Management has noted that these individuals have created WhatsApp and Facebook groups with moderators parading as agents of the scheme for such dubious and nefarious activities.
"The NSS management has launched a full-scale investigation into the activities and the security agencies are on the lookout for persons behind this syndicate," he said.
Also, the NSS management entreated persons whose postings have been withheld due to authentication failure to exercise restraints and go through the due processes to be cleared and ultimately posted to serve the country.