The Deputy Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Gifty Oware Aboagye, has said the government does not disburse transport allowance to national service persons either on the commencement or completion of their service.
She made the claim on TV3’s morning show, NewDay, as a response to a viewer who called to enquire about the delay in the payment of the transport allowance.
She said the secretariat, as an exception to the rule, disbursed transport allowance as a form of support to national service personnel in 2017, due to availability of funds. In her view, service personnel must not therefore consider the payment of transport allowance as a norm
Factcheck Ghana has verified the claim and presents the details.
Claim: “Government do (sic) not give national service a dime for any T&T [transportation]. So, there was a year, I think 2017, when we were able to save so much money and we decided to assist national service personnel with these things and then it became a cliché. And we have categorically said over and over and over again. For instance, I am happy that he never said national service has said we will give them one pesewa or a dime. But then they keep saying because we keep hearing them. We keep hearing people say I have been paid all my allowances but they are still owing me. When you ask what, they say they are owing me T&T. So no, it was support from National Service at that time. So it’s not like it was just support so it’s not like there is some money that government allocates. The only thing extra that government pays is the certificate they are supposed to receive.”
Verdict: Completely False
The rules and regulations guiding the national service programme as presented on the NSS website indicate that the NSS must pay the transport allowance of service personnel who work with statutory boards, corporations or private institutions, according to the regulations, shall be paid transport allowance from the resources of the organisations.
“Initial transport claims, from the hometowns to the service posts of service personnel posted to Ministries, Government Departments, and state-owned Tertiary Institutions, shall be paid by NSS at existing government rates (as announced by the Ministry of Roads and Transport). After national service, transport claims of these service personnel from their service posts back to their hometowns shall also be borne by the Secretariat,” the regulation signed by the executive director of the secretariat states.
The regulations further add that “transport claims of national service personnel from their hometowns to their service posts and from their posts back to their hometowns after successful completion of national service for personnel posted to Statutory Boards & Corporations, Universities, Churches or quasi-church organisations & private companies shall be paid by their organisations from their own resources.”
Thus, contrary to the NSS deputy director’s claim, it is actually a norm that national service personnel be paid transport allowance after completion of the service.
Further buttressing the point that service personnel are supposed to be paid transport allowance, the team sighted a press release dated December 14, 2021, by the National Service Personnel Association informing the general national service persons about the payment of transport allowance.
The release, signed by the National Financial secretary of NASPA, Prince Abada, encouraged the personnel to visit their banks or agents with their e-zwich cards.
When Factcheck Ghana contacted Mr. Abada, he confirmed the statement was from him, adding that it was a one-time payment of transport allowance by the NSS to some selected personnel.
Even that payment was only to the general NSS people. It did not include the trainees, he said.
The 2014/2015 Central Regional NASPA President and a member of the National Executive Council of NASPA, Charles Smith, confirmed that the NSS paid transport allowance before and during his tenure.
He added that the only service persons who are not paid transport allowance are those from the nursing training colleges because they are not paid by the secretariat.