28 July 2017

Inadequate biometric devices worsens plight of National Service personnel

Several hundreds of 2017/2018 National Service personnel have blamed the long queues  at the registration centres to inadequate biometric registration devices.

The personnel have been compelled to stand in long queues for hours at the Accra Metro registration centre just for their biometric registration to enable them undertake the mandatory service to the state.   

Some of them say they sometimes get to the registration centre as early as 2:00am but getting there early does not guarantee a successful registration as the officials only deal with 400 people daily.

Ghanaian students who graduate from accredited tertiary institutions are required by law to do a one-year national service to the country.

The National Service Secretariat (NSS) is the government of Ghana agency mandated to formulate policies and structures for national service.

Fresh graduates seeking to register for a year of national service were brutalised by soldiers amid a chaotic registration process this week.

Related: Video: NSS personnel brutalized as registration exercise turns chaotic

The videos of the incident were posted on social media with a soldier wielding a stick, chasing down a graduate and subsequently hitting him several times in a bid to maintain order.

The National Service Scheme (NSS) has issued an apology over the manhandling of some graduates at its headquarters, after the videos went viral.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Acting Chief Executive of the NSS, Ussif Mustapha, said the incident was regrettable.

The NSS, he said, “wishes to apologise to all such national service personnel and the general public for the recorded incidents of congestion which led to the manhandling”.

Related: NSS apologises for manhandling of graduates during registration process

The apology letter by the NSS also revealed there are plans to streamline the registration process to ease the congestion.

The statement appealed to potential personnel “to remain calm and go through the registration process smoothly”.

However, when JoyNews’ Maxwell Agbagba visited the Accra Metro centre on Friday, one of the students told him that he has been to the office for the third time but has been unsuccessful on all occasions.

“I could not register on Monday because the police people were beating us because of the queue. I was here yesterday and I was given a card to come back today so I got here around 3 am,” he said.

According to them, if many computers were provided by the NSS, they would have gone through the system in a speedy manner.

“We are trying to be patriotic in serving the nation but every effort of us is being frustrated. It’s like it is a national suffering as people call it,” one lady also told Joy News. 


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