Africa-Press – Ghana. Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS) has said the Scheme was working towards becoming a nation building force in the next half decade.
He said the Service considered financial independence and maturity as it nears 50 years of existence, and was therefore mobilizing under a new dispensation to reposition as a prime provider of employment and economic stability for the youth.
The Executive Director was addressing the 13th Annual National Service Personnel Association (NSPA) Mini Congress in Ho, and said the Scheme, having one of the most accurate data pool on university graduates, was suited to lead the graduate employment drive.
Mr. Antwi said the Scheme, under its new orientation, had identified agriculture and housing as sectors with high growth potential so with a high graduate unemployment, these therefore are areas to undertake bold initiatives to own them. He said a total of eleven initiatives were being rolled out along the pathway to solving the unemployment deficit to enhance the job economy.
The Executive Director said the Scheme had also been found to have the potential to address the rising teacher deficit in rural areas in particular, adding that, its housing gangs would provide the much-needed accommodation among other facilities.
He said the Scheme looked to the nation’s rich agrarian landscape, and had secured a 200,000 acre patch from the traditional authorities of Kumawu to establish an agricultural industry, hoping to absorb the over 4500 students graduating in agriculture and related sciences annually.
“So, soon, NSS will be the leader in agriculture”, Mr. Antwi declared, adding that, the enterprise would be mechanized and developed into a “renaissance village” for the food processing industry.
He said the “NSS in Housing” project was also an ambitious undertaking that would produce about 40 housing gangs of 100 qualified builders each, to wage housing campaigns across the country.
The Executive Director said the initiative sought collaboration with the Ministry of Education towards the provision of affordable housing units for teachers across the country.
“National Service is being innovative so that come five years, we will position ourselves to be independent”, he said, pointing to the rising graduate population which is being buffered by the free SHS program.
The Scheme is also rolling out a “Youth in Accounting” initiative that would support SMEs with accounting and other business management services, both crucial to growing the nation’s industries and business landscape.
The Executive Director said the scheme must “appreciate the problems of the day” and commit to helping secure lasting solutions, and must therefore embrace innovativeness.
He said through a partnership with the Ghana Tech Lab, for example, the Service had produced more than 20 mobile based apps serving the hospitality, health and waste management sectors.
The Mini congress brought together national and regional executives of the NSPA, where a workshop was held to equip them with the needed leadership skills.
Mr. Ambrose Entsiwah Jr., Volta Regional Director of the Scheme, said the two-day congress would deliberate on issues pertaining to the Service, and appealed to all to work together along its vision.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, commended the management of the Scheme for the new direction, and asked personnel to understand the current global economy to be able to help profess the needed solutions. He said the government was working to deliver the nation to a state of economic security and urged all to continue to bear and support these efforts.
Tammy Sherger, CEO of the I Am Worth It Project, a top Canadian management consultancy firm, and which led the workshop, urged the leaders to focus on a vision, and train to leave their comfort zones to pursue planned achievements.
The highly interactive workshop taught action planning, and time management skills among other qualities needed in building the required leadership for the Service and the nation as a whole.