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General News of Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Source: GNA

Govt saves over 260 billion cedis through NSS

Ho, July 24, GNA - The National Service Scheme (NSS) has saved the country a total of over 260 billion cedis for the 2005/2006 academic year, Mr Ken-Wuud Nuworsu, Deputy Minister Designate for Manpower, Youth and Employment said on Tuesday.

Mr Nuworsu, who is also a Board Member of the Scheme in the Volta Region, said the amount would have been used to pay salaries of people employed by the government to do jobs undertaken by the service personnel.

He announced this when he launched the 2006/2007 National Service Jubilee Week celebrations in Ho on the theme: " Ghana @ 50-Contributions of the National Service Personnel".

Mr Nuworsu observed that despite some negative perceptions and reservations about the Scheme, it continued to provide the needed skilled manpower to fill shortfalls within the public and private sectors of the economy all over the country.

He said that national service personnel had helped communities to mobilize the needed human and material resources for the provision of their basic needs such as mass immunization and guinea worm eradication programmes and the building of infrastructure including boreholes and schools among others.

From a humble beginning with about 1,500 personnel in 1973 the Scheme had since deployed over 450,000 personnel to needy and deprived areas of the economy countrywide out of which the Ghana Education Service remained the main beneficiary with almost 70 per cent of personnel posted to teach in deprived and rural schools.

Mr Nuworsu said the national service period served as an opportunity and time for the country's youth to be re-oriented and "test the uncharted waters to adjust to real life situations from the utopian ideas perceived from the four walls of educational institutions". He said the importance of the Scheme must never be downplayed saying, posting of personnel to communities other than their own also allowed them to learn the cultures of others for proper integration and harmony of societies.

Mr Ken Gyenfi, Volta Regional Coordinator of the Scheme announced that the Region topped the 2006/2007 personnel performance evaluation and commended them for their dedicated service to the country. He urged them to remain patriotic to the nation. Mr Gyenfi, however, expressed worry about the misconduct of three personnel who were alleged to have embezzled some funds and stolen important documents from the offices they were posted to and described the situation as unfortunate.

Mr Mike Tottime, Ho Municipal Coordinator of the Scheme advised personnel to do away with greed, avarice, envy and the desire to get rich by whatever means, saying, " such things will lead you into problems".

He asked them to evaluate themselves during the Week celebration as to whether they had developed and learned new skills and techniques to face challenges awaiting them in the world of work.