Congratulations, NSS!!

 WE congratulate the National Service Scheme (NSS) on turning 50 years this year, having been established in 1973 under the Supreme Military Council junta led by then Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.

We salute the brains that established it and those that have sustained it till now.

We also wish to encourage those who intend to improve its activities in line with chang­ing times.

Thus, we doff our hat for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his admin­istration for developing a new draft policy document to guide the implementation of its activities.

We understand the new pol­icy document is the first of its kind to be implemented by the Scheme since its establishment and President Akufo-Addo has spoken highly about it.

We also hear a draft bill to back it will be developed and laid before Parliament for consideration and passage into law.

That law will make it possible for the Scheme to be turned into an Author­ity, hopefully for it escape certain restrictions in order to perform better than it is doing now.

It is our wish that all organ­isations, projects and pro­grammes in the country, both public and private, including particularly the NSS, would flourish to create avenues for young people especially to have the opportunity to contribute to national devel­opment.

However, there is a fear we wish to express about chang­ing the status of the NSS for the better with a piece of leg­islation yet to be formulated.

We wish we had been told that the draft bill had been laid before Parliament for consideration.

Our fear is rooted in the fact that we live in a country where bills take long before they are passed into laws.

When exactly is that bill go­ing to be sent to Parliament?

Babies are usually better cared for by their own moth­ers than others, particularly step-mothers, so we wish the Akufo-Addo administration would do well to bring into being the law to actualise the vision of placing the NSS at a level it hopes to.

We do not want to experi­ence a situation where such a laudable idea shall be aban­doned due to regime change through the 2024 elections.

When we talk about regime change, we mean either the New Patriotic Party (NPP) “breaking the eight” or the looming National Democratic Congress (NDC) assuming power but the idea being abandoned in either case.

And we say this based on certain experiences.

For example, we recall that the construction of the Odaw storm drainage was started in 2002 by the Kufuor govern­ment, an NPP administration.

A GNA story of March 24, 2006 with the headline ‘Third phase of Odaw drainage near completion’, while present­ing the individual costs of the three phases then, said in part that “If the new facility being sought to extend the project beyond the Apenkwa box culvert is approved by Parliament, then the total cost of the project would be 38 million Euros and 10 million dollars”.

NPP lost power to NDC in the 2008 elections and the project was abandoned.

Fortunately, the NPP re­captured power through the 2016 elections and some of us thought that important project was going to be continued but it is at where Kufuor left it.

What is worse is that the drain designed to last 50 years has parts of its concrete lining broken into pieces by flooding that has had its way because nothing restrains it due to its uncompleted nature.

On that note, we hope the Akufo-Addo government would try to accomplish what it has started with the NSS and give us a story different from those like the Odaw drain one.

Once again, “Congratula­tions, NSS. May dreams for your good come to pass!!”

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