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The National Service Scheme (NSS) is ready to support institutions lacking qualified members of staff with the requisite professionals who will assist those institutions to enhance their operations and make them more effective and profitable.
According to the scheme, there were many private organisations that did not have professionals and so it was ready to work with and support them to get the needed staff members.
The Executive Director of the NSS, Mr Osei Asibbey Antwi, said it was in a suitable position and poised to deepen collaboration with any institution that needed qualified people to grow and expand their operations.
“We are there to support them. For the private sector, they need key professionals which we have and they can use our service persons at a lower cost. Now all the banks rely on us because of cost effectiveness,” he said.
Mr Antwi, a former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), gave the assurance when he led a delegation from the NSS to call on the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah, at his office in Accra last Thursday.
The visit was to, among other things, discuss ways in which the two organisations could collaborate for their mutual benefit.
The NSS delegation also had the Deputy Executive Director, Mr Kwaku Ohene Djan; the Corporate Affairs Director, Mr Armstrong Esaah and other officials on it.
Mr Antwi explained that the scheme had a database of people who completed service last year who had a wide range of knowledge and expertise in various fields after serving with different organisations in the country.
That database could effectively be a source of information for recruitment for those organisations seeking to recruit some specific professionals but did not know where to start from.
“Many institutions lacking professionals, many lack the requisite labour force to be able to excel. We have a database of all the graduates, with varied professional backgrounds.
“We are ready to support any institution that will come to us for that help,” he said.
“Very soon, we will have a stakeholder engagement, where we will interact with all those who have been using our personnel. We want to have an engagement with them for us to have feedback from them on the services we provide,” he emphasised.
Explaining his visit to the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Antwi said it was to forge a collaboration with the company, especially its flagship newspaper, the Daily Graphic.
He said the NSS had the personnel which it could deploy to all the districts of the country to help with news gathering and the dissemination of accurate information, especially in areas where the GCGL did not have representatives.
For him, there should be a team between the two institutions to work hand-in-hand on strategies on how they could work towards increase in sales of the company’s papers.
“News from the hinterland is not often reported or published because it is difficult to get information from the remotest areas. But that challenge can be solved because the NSS and the GCGL can connect and use service persons who are in every district in Ghana.
“So assuming we are able to come up with a collaboration, have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that we are working together throughout the 260 districts, we will be able to achieve a lot. We have dedicated personnel in the districts and they will be ready to go and report on anything,” he said.
Urban traffic model
Responding to a question on the current status of the Urban Traffic Management Model of the NSS, Mr Antwi said that was still ongoing.
He indicated that the Ghana Police Service had requested for 2,000 service persons this year, explaining that earlier the service had requested for 1,000 persons, as it did last year, but the Inspector General of Police (IGP) called for the number be increased based on the plans the service was putting in place to deal with urban traffic.
Mr Asmah, welcoming the delegation to his office, described the NSS’s move for a collaboration with the Daily Graphic as welcoming news and a good opportunity “we must grab with both hands”.
“Meetings of this nature are extremely important for many reasons: they deepen relationships and also enable us to know one another even better. So I think we must continue to have such engagements; it should not be a one-off thing, it must be very regular.
“I also think that our doors must be opened for each other, so that we are able to reach out to each other effortlessly,” he said.
Concerning the use of service persons for news gathering, he said the two institutions could deliberately work towards that and make sure that service persons also had the mindset of putting the nation first.
He encouraged service persons to take up citizen journalism wherever they found themselves.
Mr Asmah suggested that the orientation period for prospective service persons must be a month or two before they start their national service, saying that was to ensure that they appreciated what they were going to do as service persons.
Moreover, he said, the NSS should look at ways in which service persons would be posted to fields where they had studied while in university.
Again, he said. the NSS could consider coming up with a policy that would ensure that persons who were posted to remote areas got certain benefits in order to make postings competitive with little friction.
The Deputy Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Theophilus Yartey, who was also present at the meeting, believed the collaboration between the GCGL and the NSS would be beneficial to both parties.
“It is something that we can put to work, since it is doable. We have even discussed it here that we would be looking for district information officers sometimes to supplement our work because there are certain places that are far from the regional offices.
“We have reporters in the regions, but because some of the regions are so big, you can’t be everywhere every time. So this is something that we can look at. When you have people in the various places, you will have a rich database you can rely on,” he added.