The National Service Secretariat (NSS) has introduced a new module for this year’s service personnel, which will see them deployed onto the streets to help manage traffic.

The module, known as the Urban Traffic Management, is to complement the efforts of the Ghana Police Service in traffic management in the country’s urban centres.

 

A total of 1,000 service personnel have been drafted into the new module and are currently undergoing a two-week intensive training at the Ghana Police Training School in Accra.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training programme yesterday, Dr. Michael Kpessah Whyte, Acting Executive Director of NSS, said 600 of the personnel in this module have been posted to Accra and 400 to Kumasi.

He said the module was developed considering the huge traffic congestion in the urban areas and the adequate police officers in the system.

According to him, each year, over 70,000 service personnel graduate from various tertiary institutions in the country and the module was appropriate to ease the pressure on the police in traffic management in the country.

Dr. Whyte said the service personnel would also engage in sensitising and educating the public about traffic management and road safety issues.

 

He said, the module would expose the personnel to police-civilian relationship and instill in them a sense of nationalism in serving the country.

Additionally, it would expose them to the operations of the police Service and erase the negative stereotype they might have about the police.

Dr. Whyte noted that the module could also serve as a pool to recruit personnel into the Police Service and was happy the personnel accepted the module.

According to him, none of the personnel was coerced into the new module and added that they would be paired with senior police officers on the field to learn on the job.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Alhassan, in a speech read for him, advised the service personnel to be disciplined, hardworking and exhibit good conduct and pledged the service’s support to them. He asked them as premiers of the module, to listen to their instructors and ensure that all their actions were within the laws of the country.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Alphonse Adu Amankwah, Director at the Police Academy, said the personnel would be trained in the topics such as Overview of National Road Safety, Urban Road network and Understanding Traffic Congestion and several field works.

The Acting Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, has defended a decision to deploy new service personnel to direct traffic in the country.

He insisted that the personnel willingly selected the module themselves.

“…We posted them there because the majority of them opted for those option during the enrolment process. Nobody imposed it on them, even if we did, I believe that they are doing the right thing for the country,” he noted.

About 1,000 graduates from various tertiary institutions will help the Police to control traffic under it’s new module called: “Urban traffic management.”

Some Ghanaians have questioned the rationale for the module asking why tertiary graduates should be serving the nation on the streets.

But justifying the module in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, Dr Kpessa-Whyte insisted that they did no wrong by deploying the personnel to the streets.

He argued that “as a country, our society is changing very fast, our society is transforming and transformation comes with many challenges. One of the challenges is congestion of vehicles on our roads on day-to-day basis, and we thought that they will help beef up the visibility of the Police on our streets.”

He noted that those deployed to Accra have begun their training while those in Kumasi will follow suit soon.

“600 are expected to be in Accra, 400 are expected to be in Kumasi. Yesterday the training for those personnel has started in Accra and we expect that after theirs, there would be the Kumasi one and then we go on,” he added.

Their duties

On the duties of the personnel, Dr. Kpessa-Whyte said “they are being taken through that at the Police training school within the next two weeks which started yesterday. I believe they are being given various lessons in relation to what it takes to be an effective personnel on the street managing the flow of vehicles. They are also being exposed to the issue that the Police service deal with on regular basis as long as road traffic management is concerned.”

Justification

“There are Police officers who are lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects, when the need arises, they are also sent to the streets to help the flow of traffic and it is we ordinary citizens who are often in the traffic that these people are helping. How different is that from asking our young men and women coming out of our tertiary institutions to be exposed to a similar procedure,” the NSS boss opined.

 

The management of the National Service Scheme (NSS) has released the first batch of placements for 53,604 prospective national service persons for the 2015/2016 service year as part of reforms of its general operations.


According to a statement signed by the acting Executive Director of the scheme, Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, and issued in Accra, the service persons had been deployed into various service modules, including Educational Support, Agribusiness, Urban Traffic Management and Urban Sanitation Management.

Other modules

The other modules are Community Health, Rural Development, Private Sector Support, General Administration in the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and other user agencies across the country.

The statement said the modules had been developed in line with the scheme’s objectives to meet the developmental and manpower needs of the country.


It called on prospective national service persons to log onto www.nss.gov.gh to check their placements.

It further said that management would not encourage change of postings and urged all prospective service persons to be prepared to accept their placements as part of their contribution towards building a prosperous nation.

It would be recalled that the scheme announced that it would release placements early to give national service personnel enough time to prepare and take up their placements in September 2015.

 

The Management of the National Service Scheme (NSS) has, on the advice of the board, interdicted 33 workers for their alleged involvement in financial deals in the scheme.

A statement from the Acting Executive Director of the Scheme, Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, said the affected persons included officers from the head office, regional directors, accountants and administrators. It, however, did not disclose their names.

Investigations 

However, a source at the NSS named the affected officers as Nelson Ayutigah, Chief Accountant at NSS headquarters; Ms Gloria Aku Mensah, Head of Internal Audit; Mr Ebenezer Anim Dapaah, Head of National Volunteer Programme; Mr Alhassan Idrissu, Head of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; Mr Samuel Ofori, Internal Audit, headquarters, and Michael Asubonteng, Head of Information Technology.

The others who are regional directors are Mr Seth Nana Asiedu Abugyei, Greater Accra;  Alhaji Ali Ahmed, Central; Mr Gabriel Nyokeh, Volta; Nana Fosu Amankwah, Eastern, and Mr Silas Nangomah, Western.

The rest are Seth Quartey, Regional Accountant, Greater Accra; Mr Emmanuel Asare Asante, Regional Administrator, Greater Accra; Mr Theophilus Ato Kwofie, Regional Accountant, Western Region; Mr Festus Obeng Sefah, Regional Administrator, Central Region; Mr Alexander Agumen, Regional Accountant, Central Region; Mr Francis Himbuah, Regional Accountant, Eastern; Mr John Kwame Ayew, Regional Accountant, Volta, and Mr Joseph Bati , Regional Administrator, Upper West Region.

Legal action 

Their interdiction, according to the statement, was without prejudice to any legal action to be taken against them by the state "on account of President John Dramani Mahama's relentless war against corruption and malfeasance."

Dr Kpessa- Whyte explained in the statement that the interdiction followed the receipt of official report from the Bureau of National Investigations BNI) about the financial malfeasance identified in the operations of personnel allowances accounts in the 2013/2014 service year.

The statement said the interdiction was the first step in disciplinary actions lined up by management against the suspected officers.

Dr Kpessa-Whyte further stated that sections of the BNI report that focused on the involvement of district officers of the scheme, were being reviewed by management, to determine appropriate disciplinary action.

He said the affected 33 officers had already been replaced to prevent administrative paralysis.

Background 

In October 2014, the Board of NSS asked some senior staff members to step aside to allow the BNI to carry out investigations into allegations of financial deals in the scheme.

The deals centred mainly on ghost names in the payment of personnel allowances.

- See more at: http://graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/43699-big-shake-up-at-national-service-secretariat-33-workers-interdicted.html#sthash.7Waj3tSu.dpuf

National Service Scheme To Pay outstanding Allowances To Service personnel This Week 

Credible information available to The General Telegraph indicates that all outstanding allowances due the 2013/14 national service personnel will be cleared this week.

The July and August allowances for personnel were delayed following a special national head count embarked upon by the secretariat days after a massive corruption scandal rocked the institution.
Our sources have confirmed that the necessary payment procedures were completed last week and payment vouchers have left the desk of the current Executive Director, Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, for delivery to the districts and regions.

“Outstanding allowances for all national service personnel will be paid into their respective bank accounts this week,” our source said.
Further checks at the National Service Secretariat (NSS) and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department confirmed the completion of the payment process after the head count ended.



The NSS embarked upon the head count exercise after the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) uncovered the rot at the secretariat. This subsequently led to the arrest of some top officials of the NSS, with the ex-Executive Director, Alhassan Imoro, being ordered to proceed on leave. He is currently standing trial for attempting to bribe the BNI officials and for stealing.

In the wake of the scandal, Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, an academician and lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, was appointed as the Executive Secretary.
The General Telegraph can report also that an official statement directing all the affected service personnel to go to their respective districts and regions for their allowances will be issued this week.

At the time of going to press, the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) has issued a statement and commended all the 2013/14 service personnel for the patience they showed towards a good cause.

A statement issued and signed by the National President of NASPA, Mr. Ekow Vincent Assafuah Jnr, says the Executive Committee has received assurance from the Acting Executive Director of the Scheme, Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, that directives have been issued to regional directors of the scheme to ensure that the July and August 2014 allowances are paid without further delay.

The General Telegraph has observed that new strategies are now being worked out at the headquarters including the establishment of a customer/client centre.

Currently, a number of service persons are undergoing training to tackle customer relation issues with the aim of d-congesting the secretariat.

The rot at the National Service Secretariat (NSS) appears to be more deep-seated than anticipated, as information reaching 'Daily Guide' indicates that a former Executive Director of the organization acquired not less than five houses in four years before he was removed.

The director, who was removed after a series of complaints by the Board of the NSS, was later given a juicy appointment as a presidential staffer.

Shortly after his removal from office, some concerned members of staff of the NSS wrote to President John Mahama to institute a probe into the activities of the NSS boss and purge the scheme of the “institutionalized thievery and naked robbery of stated funds by him and his cohorts”, but the said report never got to the presidency.

The report said the former NSS boss lived far above his means, acquiring flashy, expensive and luxurious cars – Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Saloon Cars, among others – as well as mansions in Abokobi, Oyarifa, Trade Fair Site, ACP Estates at Pokuase, Sakumono and other places in Accra.

It said in some cases, he used names of his friends as owners of those cars and buildings to cover his tracks.

The report cited, for example, that the former director claimed that a soldier friend had asked him to build the mansion near the Trade Fair Site in Accra for him.

It said in building all those houses, he used the Borehole Unit staff and equipment to drill boreholes for water without paying for the services.

The report said in addition to the already mentioned fraud, the former executive director paid a whopping Ghc25,000 cash to his wife, bought a flat for her at Adenta and a car to compensate her after he was caught in marital crisis.

The NSS is currently embroiled in a financial scandal of gargantuan dimensions as the immediate executive director, Alhaji Alhassan Imoro, is facing charges of stealing to the tune of about GH86.9 million belonging to the Government of Ghana.

The alleged systematic stealing had been institutionalized with the immediate past management allegedly continuing where others had left off.

According to the documentary report, copies of which have been made available to 'Daily Guide', during the reign of the former executive director in question, names of non-existent service personnel were allegedly generated and inserted in the payment vouchers of some regions, notably Greater Accra, Western, Central, Volta and Brong Ahafo.

Allowances paid to such “ghost” personnel were withdrawn by the Regional Directors and paid to the big man in Accra. The report said the massive fraud and stealing of state funds were perpetrated through his errand boy, a certain Gyamfi.

The errand boy used to go round collecting the monies from the Regional Directors on a monthly basis for his master.

It said in 2012, the lid on the huge fraud was blown off and instead of dealing with the problem; the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government let the director off the hook because of strong political backing.

A committee was set up, with a report leading to the transfer of some directors and interdiction of others; but no action was taken in the case of the executive director.

Some of the implicated officials were merely made to refund the money.

The Board of Directors of the NSS called for action to be taken against the perpetrators, but these recommendations were never implemented.

The report said in another orchestrated incident, the former executive director, now walking free, in concert with an officer of the Voluntary Service, raised memos for programmes that never took place, withdrew monies from the Income Generation Account and returned the payment vouchers with forged receipts, authenticated with fake rubber stamps of some respectable hotels and guest houses in Bolgatanga, Wa, Jirapa, as well as in Walewale.

According to the report, the monies were funds provided by the Voluntary Service Origination VSO) to support activities of the National Voluntary Programme. Samples of the rubber stamps are in possession of Daily Guide.

As if that was not enough, the former NSS boss caused deductions to be made from allowances of National Service personnel for entrepreneurial training, which never took place, but the GH60,000 that was deducted was never accounted for.

The report said in gross disregard of the Procurement Act, the NSS boss always resorted to sole-sourcing whenever he wanted to purchase some items.

He did so without consulting the board or seeking its approval, creating confusion among them, with reports indicating for example that the purchased Yutong buses, some agricultural equipment and some tractors, among other items, with the board’s approval.

The report said he collected the tractors before applying for the sole sourcing facility.

The report also mentioned that during the tenure of the former NSS boss, the farms that were established by the scheme were badly managed, adding that they were fraught with corruption and inefficiency such that by the time the man was leaving office, the scheme was indebted to the tune of about GH79,000 from unpaid purchases of maize seed and chemicals.

The Auditor General’s 2012 report has cited authorities at the Ghana National Service Secretariat of several acts of misappropriation including the payment of over Gh₵1.3 million without proper documentation.

The authorities have therefore been asked to produce documents to cover the payment of over Gh₵ 1.3million or prepare to refund the amount.

It was also found that the NSS had overpaid Gh₵49,000 in personal allowances


The Auditor-General’s report which is before Parliament will be referred to the Public Accounts Committee where the MPs will invite officials to answer the allegations leveled against them.

The report also revealed that imprest amounting to Gh₵409,000 given to members of staff to run programmes could not be accounted for.

The litany of allegations continues with the secretariat being cited for breaking procurement rules after it awarded a $30,000 contract for the printing of t-shirts without opening to tender.


The Auditor-General is questioning the secretariat’s why they decided to adopt sole sourcing in the purchase of goods and services.


The National Service Secretariat is responsible for posting tertiary graduates to do a compulsory one-year service required of all citizens of Ghana who are 18 years and above. The program which began in 1973 is to encourage communal service and a spirit of volunteerism among Ghana’s youths.

This year, about 71,189 graduates have been deployed nationwide to undertake their national service.