The one requirement of young Ghanaians to serve their country for a year after school, National Service is a legal requirement.
Whether you completed your tertiary education in Ghana or not, once you’re a Ghanaian, you’re required to do your service.
One thing about doing your service is that it helps you to enter the labour market through work in either the public or private sectors, pick business ideas, develop early contact with potential employers, reflect on career options, acquire practical on the job training.
At the end of your service, the National Service Secretariat that has been mandated by law to manage National Service is supposed to issue you with a certificate.
That is where a lot of people who have finished their NSS get into trouble or face challenges.
When they put in an application for their certificate, they are denied. This was experienced by Emmanuel who finished his service in 2018 at a private financial services company.
He told Kuulpeeps.com in an interview that he was denied his certificate because his company had not been paying the agency user fee.
The agency user fee or service charge is calculated as 20% of the basic service allowance paid by the company to the service person. This service charge is supposed to be paid monthly to the secretariat by the private company.
“I have a BEd degree in ICT and I was applying for a GES teaching job and they requested for my NSS certificate,” he said.
“I knew I had done my NSS so I went to the NSS regional office in Accra to request for my certificate. That was when I was told my certificate can’t be given to me because the company didn’t pay the user fee,” he added.
“I contacted the company and we had a back and forth, which I didn’t understand and eventually the date for applying for the teaching job elapsed. Weeks later, the financial company was shut down in during the banking sector cleanup,” Emmanuel explained.
“I had to raise about GHS 800 to clear the debt at NSS so that I can have my certificate,” he said.
Whenever a company is giving any Ghanaian any form of employment that required the person to have completed some form of tertiary education, they are supposed to request for the applicant’s NSS certificate.
However, most, if not all the private companies do not request this document which also makes people who have completed their NSS to not prioritise the need to make sure they secure that certificate. Only for them to be found wanting when an opportunity presents itself yet they can’t secure the certificate.
Though most private companies do not request for the certificate in their hiring process, government agencies and quasi-government agencies do request it. If you have any plans of ever working for any institution that is run or owned by the government then you need to make absolutely sure that you have that NSS certificate when you’re done with NSS.
If you are completing your NSS this year, find out from NSS if your company has been paying the user fee.. it they aren’t, talk to your departmental head first, follow it up with your HR and then lastly, your head of finance.
One way or the other, you have to find a way to get the company to pay your user fee so that you will have no troubles securing your certificate.
Also, make sure you have it with you at home even if you think you don’t need it.
Here’s a side political note I hope not to bore you with…
In 2017 when President Akufo-Addo had won his first presidential term. He appointed Atiko Djaba to head the ministry of gender, children and social protection. At her vetting in Parliament a big deal was made about her inability to do NSS and provide the needed certificate. Eventually, political muscles were pooled. She got her ministerial job alright but not before she was dragged to make a point.
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