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General News of Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Source: Class FM

Current National Service Scheme useless - K.B. Asante

The current national service system is not of any use to the country, retired diplomat K.B. Asante has said.

“To me it (national service) has already lost its relevance, and, perhaps, we should revisit the drawing board and have another system and let’s … perhaps do it like a volunteer system,” Mr Asante told Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Tuesday, 7 February, during a discussion about the mandatory one-year duty to the nation which everyone who graduates from a tertiary institution is supposed to undertake.

“I think what we call national service now is an apology of service to the people. …There’s nothing service about it, there’s nothing national about it…” Mr Asante added, describing it as “an apology of service and we should try to change it for something real and it doesn’t matter even if everybody doesn’t do it, we should make it more voluntary…”

The discussion has become topical following the revelation that two of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominees: Catherine Afeku and Otiko Afisa Djaba, have not done their national service – a legal requirement for employment in the public sector.

Asked if he thought the two should be disapproved by parliament despite not having done their national service, Mr Asante said: “I would say that those involved who want the high positions should still be approved but they should be made to atone for their not having done national service, perhaps, pay some contributions, when they get the job, to some of these organisations which try to help deprived people in the villages and so on …”

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