President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the comprehensive transformation agenda implemented by the National Service Scheme, tied with the new strategic direction of other pro-youth agencies, is addressing specific employment needs of young people.
This youth-driven transformation agenda, according to him, relates primarily to training and skills development, provision of pre-employment support activities, as well as instilling the values of civic responsibility, discipline, nationalism and volunteerism.
The President said several youth development programmes had been put in place to strengthen young people’s sense of identity and belief in the future.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed this on Tuesday at the launch of activities to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the National Service Scheme at the Auditorium of the University of Professional Studies, Accra.
The President said his government, since 2017 has engaged young people, including National Service Personnel, in intentional, productive and constructive ways, whilst recognising and enhancing their strengths.
Under the Economic Enclave Programme, for example, President Akufo-Addo noted that the NSS, will, in the next four years, deploy 65,000 graduates to the Agricultural Enclaves, create 81,000 jobs in agriculture and develop 20,000 hectares of land for production, in addition to the production of 110,000 metric tons of food and production of 1.5 million birds.
That, he said, would generate US$92 million in revenue in four years.
Additionally, President Akufo-Addo said for the first time in its existence, the NSS would lay a Draft Policy document before Parliament, and transition to the status of an Authority.
That, he emphasised, would provide a legal framework for the envisioned ‘Deployment for Employment’ (D4E) model that is designed to encourage young graduates to create a positive impact and contribute to the development of our nation.
The President urged the Scheme to scale up and focus on the new modules that it has initiated, with the purposive intention that the capabilities of these energetic and educated youth would be deployed to generate maximum impact for the socio-economic development goals of the country.
President Akufo-Addo paid glowing homage to the Members of Parliament who deliberated on the draft NSS Bill that culminated in the passage of Act 426, such as late statesmen, J. H. Mensah, A. A. Munufie, Peter Ala Adjetey, Harry Sawyerr, and Kwaku Baah, among others.”
Recounting the words of the then Member of Parliament for Atwima Nwabiagya and subsequently President, John Agyekum Kufuor, who intimated during the debate on the processes leading to the passage of Act 426 in 1980, that the “Scheme is a vehicle for building national cohesion”.
Former President Kufuor posited that “…we should look at the Scheme as a development of human resources. We are going to make our future manpower more prepared to be used more efficiently…”.
The Executive Director of the NSS, Osei Assibey Antwi, mentioned the achievements of the scheme, particularly since he took over as the executive director.
He earlier commended his predecessors, all of whom were present at the launch yesterday, as he mentioned their names individually for acknowledgement.
According to him, the work of the scheme in the country is evident in its face value across the country, adding that it has not deviated from its mandate.
“Because of the dedicated service, if you look around, all our works are there to see. Anyone who walks through the corridors of 37 Military Hospital will see that the trees you see there were planted by the national service. Not only here but across the country,” he noted.
He indicated that some 65,000 personnel were deployed to support teaching, 700,000 to the tourism sector, as well as setting up accounting aid to support the informal sector.
The Managing Director of Ghana Commercial Bank, Mr. Kofi Adomakoh, encouraged National Service Personnel to leverage the opportunity to better their lives.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD