NASPA Allocates Over ₵2 Million For ‘Special Week Celebration’: Exploitation and Corruption?

Do you know what Two Million Cedis can do? What if it can establish a firm for employment? What if it is used for SMEs and Micro Businesses Investment? Better than just for fun and unassured meetings. The National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) of Ghana has allocated over GH2 million for the upcoming Special Week Celebration. This allocation must come under scrutiny and raise concerns of exploitation and corruption.

On OCTOBER 12, 2022, the Management of the National Service Scheme (NSS) on its official website released the postings of a total of ‘ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY (115,240)’ prospective national service personnel who enrolled to undertake their mandatory national service for the 2022/2023 service year.

The National Service personnel performs critical roles in various government institutions and agencies. The personnel’s contributions and hard work are essential for the proper functioning of these institutions. However, the recent decision by the NASPA to allocate such a significant sum of money for a Special Week Celebration is questionable. The allocation of over GH2 million for a Special Week Celebration is seen by many as an extravagant and wasteful expenditure of public funds. Ghana is currently facing significant economic challenges, and the government has been promoting measures aimed at reducing expenditure. As such, the allocation of such a significant amount for a celebration event by the NASPA is contrary to the economic realities of the country.

The Association held its 2023 NASPA Mini-Conference last Month at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region where Its decision was to deduct 25 Ghana cedis from the July Month salaries of all 115,240 NSS personnel for a “NASPA Special Week Celebration.” This move has raised concerns and speculation about the transparency and potential for corruption within the association. This article aims to analyze the potential financial implications of this deduction by performing the necessary calculations.

Calculation and Analysis

To determine the financial impact that the 25 Ghana cedis (GH25.00) deduction will have on the NSS personnel, we will multiply this amount by the total number of personnel.

25 Ghana cedis x 115,240 NSS personnel = 2,881,000 Ghana cedis. Thus, GH25 X 115,240. This reveals that the total deduction amounts to 2,881,000 Ghana cedis (GH2,881,00).

Considering this substantial sum of money, it is crucial to examine how NASPA intends to utilize these funds during the Special Week Celebration. Transparency is key to maintaining trust, so proper financial planning and reporting are necessary.

Questions That Need to Be Addressed

  1. Expense Breakdown: NASPA should provide detailed information regarding the allocation of the deducted funds during the “NASPA Special Week Celebration.” It is essential for the association to present a comprehensive breakdown of expenses to ascertain that the funds are being used responsibly and in the best interest of the NSS personnel.
  2. Financial Accountability: NASPA should be transparent about the financial management of the organization as a whole. Are there any existing financial checks and balances in place to ensure the proper use of funds collected from NSS personnel? Providing audited financial statements, regular reports, and an overview of the association’s financial practices will help allay concerns of corruption.
  3. Justification for Deduction: NASPA should explain the rationale behind the specific amount of 25 Ghana cedis deducted from each individual’s salary. How was this figure determined, and what factors were taken into consideration? Clearly articulating the purpose of each deduction and how it contributes to the betterment of the NSS personnel’s welfare is crucial to maintaining trust.
  4. Social Impact: NASPA should outline explicitly how the Special Week Celebration will provide lasting benefits to the NSS personnel. Will it enhance skills development, offer networking opportunities, or contribute to their overall well-being? Clear objectives and outcomes should be defined to ensure that the deducted funds are used effectively.

It is a concern that this allocation of funds may be a cover for corruption within NASPA. I argue that the celebration is nothing more than an opportunity for the officials within NASPA to profit at the expense of National Service personnel. It will be the best position for the immediate suspension of the budget and an independent investigation into the allocation of funds

In response to the backlash, some officials within the organization have defended the budget, stating that the celebration is an important event for National Service personnel and that the funds were allocated after careful consideration.

While the National Service Personnel Association’s decision to allocate a deduction of 25 Ghana cedis from the salaries of all 115,240 NSS personnel for the “NASPA Special Week Celebration” may have raised concerns about potential corruption, it is vital to approach the situation with a balanced perspective. NASPA needs to provide comprehensive answers to the questions posed in order to address transparency and accountability issues. By doing so, they can demonstrate that the funds collected are being utilized genuinely for the betterment of NSS personnel and their overall welfare. Only with complete financial transparency can NASPA regain and maintain the trust of its members

The NASPA’s decision to allocate over GH2 million for a Special Week Celebration is a cause of exploitation and corruption and must be condemned. The organization needs to be held accountable for its allocation of public funds and provide transparency about how the funds will be utilized.

NASPA should instead focus on organizing minor programs and events that will assist the personnel in their professional and personal development. Such minor programs could include providing skills training, organizing volunteer programs in underserved communities, and partnering with employers to offer opportunities for full-time employment to the personnel after their service. They can also invest in some of the personnel ideas or businesses and can set up a firm to employ some members.

To end, the allocation of over GH2 million for a Special Week Celebration by the NASPA is unjustifiable. The organization must be held accountable and should focus on organizing programs and initiatives that will benefit the service personnel and promote their professional and personal growth. The allocation of public funds must be transparent, accountable, and effective to ensure that public funds are utilized efficiently. The NASPA should reconsider its decision and redirect the funds to more meaningful initiatives that promote the welfare of the service personnel.

 The author of this piece is Maxwell Mensah, a writer, researcher, and social commentator. You can reach him on mensahm1815@gmail.com

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