Open letter to President Akufo-Addo on NSS allowance
Dear Mr President,
Kindly accept warm felicitations and well wishes from me, a citizen of the republic of Ghana. I am your grandson and a native of Kyebi in the Abuakwa South constituency but I am currently residing at Accra, Teshie Bush Road.
Your Excellency, I deem it 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.
Once again, my name is Obeng Daniel Ofosu and I am a National Service Personnel at the Office of the President, Jubilee House; Communications Department to be precise.
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.
I understand that times are hard, which is affecting all, but things are extremely hard for us to bear as students and citizens. I work from Monday to Friday in a week and transportation fares are very high this times. This has affected the cost of living for us students, and Ghanaians.
Truth is, I spend GH₵50 on food and transportation everyday which makes my total expenditure for the 5 working days GH₵250. Approximately, I spend GH₵1,000 every month, and as National Service personnel who earn a monthly allowance of GH₵559, sustenance becomes difficult.
It has been two months already and we have not received our allowance. Mr. President, some of us spend more than the monthly allowance we are to be given. For the young people of this country, national service personnel in particular, there seem to be no end in sight as they reel under the economic hardships.
On behalf of all National Service Personnel in the country, I am appealing to you to consider increasing the allowance paid to service personnel to enable them make a meaningful living. It is worrying looking at the fact that service personnel have to pay high fees for accommodation, high cost of transportation and other responsibilities they have to undertake.
This will go a long way to cushion us against the economic the current downturn, energize us to serve our nation dutifully and diligently. Mr President, this must be done urgently as the NSS personnel are suffering under the prevailing economic circumstances.
Your Excellency, I saw in the news that the base pay on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) has been increased by 30% across board for the year 2023. I also saw in the news that, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), in consultation with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), has increased monthly pensions upwards by 25% for the year 2023.
I must commend you for these increment but it seems you have forgotten us the service personnel who live in the strange lands of Accra, cater for ourselves, and pay our utilities with the GH₵559.
Grandpa, I know you have a good heart and a good listening ear so you would hear our cries and increase our allowances for us too. Thank you and may God bless you.
The writer is a NSS Personnel at the Office of the President, Jubilee House, and a NASPA Presidential Aspirant for La Dade Kotopon Municipal District.