Edem Agbana: An open letter to Akufo-Addo on the need to increase NSS allowances

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Kindly accept warm felicitations and well wishes from me, a citizen of the Republic of Ghana.

It has become necessary to write this letter to your good office to draw your attention to a matter that demands urgent attention from you – the issue of national service allowance.

Mr President, I have observed with keen interest and disquiet, the worsening condition of National Service Personnel in Ghana.

Since the promulgation of the National Service Scheme Act 428 in 1980, millions of students have accepted the national service legal culture by discharging their service obligations to the state.

There can be no gainsaying that the very act of availing themselves for service in defiance of harsh economic conditions represents the height of patriotism and deserves our commendation and support.

Mr President, successive governments have demonstrated shared commitment to upholding the national service tradition and improving the allowance regime for service personnel.

Since the upward adjustment of GHC559 per month was given in 2016, there has been no demonstrable effort to scale up the allowance in a manner commensurate with economic realities.

It is worth noting that a significant part of the allowances paid to service personnel are expended on transport, accommodation/rent, food, utility bills, among others.

Consequently, many service personnel exhaust their allowances even before they are due for the next and are compelled to borrow to fulfill service demands and meet their needs.

The net impact is that service personnel are burdened with debt before the expiration of their service tenure.

Your excellency, there can be no doubt that the country is facing unprecedented economic challenges.

This is evidenced by the rising inflationary pressures on basic food supplies, fuel and transport, the depreciation in the value of our local currency and the ripple effect these have on other vital sectors of the economy.

Since the promulgation of the National Service Scheme Act 428 in 1980, millions of students have accepted the national service legal culture by discharging their service obligations to the state.

There can be no gainsaying that the very act of availing themselves for service in defiance of harsh economic conditions represents the height of patriotism and deserves our commendation and support.

Mr President, successive governments have demonstrated shared commitment to upholding the national service tradition and improving the allowance regime for service personnel.

Since the upward adjustment of GHC559 per month was given in 2016, there has been no demonstrable effort to scale up the allowance in a manner commensurate with economic realities.

It is worth noting that a significant part of the allowances paid to service personnel are expended on transport, accommodation/rent, food, utility bills, among others.

Consequently, many service personnel exhaust their allowances even before they are due for the next and are compelled to borrow to fulfill service demands and meet their needs.

The net impact is that service personnel are burdened with debt before the expiration of their service tenure.

Your excellency, there can be no doubt that the country is facing unprecedented economic challenges.

This is evidenced by the rising inflationary pressures on basic food supplies, fuel and transport, the depreciation in the value of our local currency and the ripple effect these have on other vital sectors of the economy.




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