In as much as I do believe that insurance policies help to take care of unforeseen circumstances, there is compelling conviction to critical examine the issues surrounding the provision of insurance for National Service Personnel and the proposed deduction of Ghc15 from their meager allowance.
I submit that the proposed amount to be charged as insurance is very high considering the NSS allowance and the cost of living in Ghana.
I suggest, therefore, that the amount should be reduced or abolished.
Putting figures to it will make more sense.
There are 91,871 service personnel for 2017/2018 year. This implies that, at the end of every month and with the Ghc15 proposed deduction per head, total deductions will amount to Ghc 1,378, 065/month. It has been explained that MTN will be giving 500mb data and call credit monthly to service personnel, with 15,000 Ghana cedis allocation to next of kin of a deceased service personnel and 3,000 Ghana cedis to a personnel who becomes disabled in line of service.
In a situation where less or no casualties are being recorded what happens to the monthly deduction? From previous situations, where is the statistical data on catastrophic incidents recorded earlier which necessitates the deduction of ghc15 per month from every service personnel in Ghana?
From my knowledge as a Former NASPA President of Ashanti Region, I doubt if the secretariat can claim that 30 casualties are recorded per month.
Yes, an insurance policy is very important but it should be a burden on the merger allowance of personnel. The proposed ghc15 monthly charge can be reduced to Gh5 or less and it will serve the fundamental purpose of providing insurance. Again, lets make sense with figures. A deduction of Ghc5 * 91, 871 amounts to Ghc459,355. This amount will be enough to address 30 casualties a month with burdening personnel. I believe by this , the service personnel will not be affected much.
I am strongly of the view that access to loan of 500 cedis by service personnel can equally be sourced from the Ghc459, 355. It is not a justified reason to charge personnel Ghc15 per month especially when it will be paid back. More so, they will be loaning from their own money.
The opportunity to watch movie is laughable. Do we have silverbird in every district? Clearly, not every service personnel will have the opportunity to go to silver bird to watch movie and since majority can not enjoy this service, it should be eliminated as well.
The success of a policy lies in the extent of stakeholder engagement that precedes its promulgation. In an attempt to serve, we should respect the persons we seek to serve. I think service personnel should have the final say on this matter and not the NSS officials at the secretariat. To the NSS official, in an attempt to serve our nation, we (Service personnel) should be given the rightful privileges and respect which will make our service to the country effective and efficient.
Long live National Service
Long live Ghana
Frank Kofi Kyei
Former NASPA President of Ashanti Region