As personnel of the National Service Scheme (NSS) continue to mount objection to efforts by government to unilaterally establish an insurance scheme for them, interesting telltales are swimming in the background of the whole issue.
The personnel have kept the conversation on a disquiet footing, and have stated that the NPP government’s refusal to consult them in the decision to institute a monthly deduction of Ghc15 from their stipends is unfathomable.
Given that the unilateral decision by government is in spite of an existing arrangement that allots Ghc1 from an annual NASPA due of Ghc10, paid by all personnel to a welfare fund, the new compulsory insurance has been dismissed as extortionate.
Behind the hullabaloo, The Republic has been finding out that the conclusion in most circles that the NSS insurance scheme is a loot share’ scheme by the NPP government to help regime cronies to milk money, resonates home.
For one thing, the fact that the whole NSS insurance scheme revolves round GLICO Life Insurance Limited is very telling. GLICO Life is the company which had collaborated with the NSS leadership to come up with the Scheme, with telecommunications giant, MTN, recruited along to give electronic money accessory to make it more attractive.
Glico Life is a subsidiary of Gemini Life Insurance Company (GLICO) Group. GLICO Group’s founder and Executive Chairman is Dr. Kwame Achampong-Kyei, a man suspected to have contributed handsomely to the election campaign of President Akufo-Addo.
Dr. Achampong Kyei, since the coming into power of the NPP, has enjoyed a cozy, cozy relationship with the regime, among others, making the outrageously large entourage of 116 that Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia had carried along to China earlier in the year.
On that trip, Dr. Achampong-Kyei had traveled first class on the Emirate Airlines flight that had jetted them to China, reaching there upon which, most of the members of the entourage had been hosted in the Beijing Hilton Hotel.
It would be recalled that following from the China trip by the Vice President earlier in the year, The Republic had dug up details of the flight from sources who had produced the first class seat numbers of the likes of Dr. Achampong-Kyei. He had flown with his seat designated – “F002E Mr Kwame Achampong Kyei.”
Nobody knows the benefits that his travel in the entourage of the Vice President has since brought Ghana, even though the government had claimed the trip was going to be a source of benefit to Ghana.
Rather, Dr. Kwame Achampong-Kyei, has only put his head together with the political leadership of the NSS appointed by President Akufo-Addo to spawn in place an extortionate insurance scheme for the personnel who are only paid allowances.
Per the arrangement, the NSS personnel will pay Ghc15 every month for the 12 months that they will be in service, to GLICO Life insurance, which will only pay premiums in the event of an accident or death of a personnel.
Where the personnel does not die or get involved in an accident at the end of his service, he does not get a dime from GLICO Life.
At the last count, the number of NSS personnel nationwide was 90,000, a number that keeps on increasing every year.
What annoys aggrieved personnel the most is that the whole decision to institute the insurance scheme had been taken by GLICO Life, the NSS political leadership and MTN, without any consultation whatsoever, with the NSS personnel.
Dr. Michael Kpessa Whyte, immediate past national Coordinator of the NSS has adlibbed the point that the insurance is a create, loot and share set up by the NPP government to help regime cronies who had funded its campaign, to turn the NSS personnel into cash cows.
This is because, according to him, the insurance was totally uncalled for in view of already existing deductions of NASPA dues from personnel.
National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) already has a scheme in which Ghc1 of Ghc10 that is annually collected in the form of dues is channeled into a welfare fund that is dedicated to providing insurance for personnel.
Per the arrangement therefore, the 90,000 NSS personnel that are on service duties already have Ghc90, 000 as welfare money that can be fallen on to cater for personnel in any eventualities.
The institution of an extra insurance scheme therefore, which unlike the NASPA dues which are deducted annually, deducts a whopping Ghc15 every month, means NSS personnel who are only earning allowances are going to pay double for their welfare.
And until they die or get hurt in accidents, they get nothing at the end of the day from their contributions.
Angry personnel have even made the point that death and accidents, the basis for which the new insurance scheme is being instituted, rarely occurs among NSS personnel, who are usually very youthful and logically, less closer to the grave.
Even so, what has annoyed them the most is that they were not consulted at all by the NPP government, which gave itself the benefit of the doubt and came up with a costly insurance scheme for the personnel.
That costly insurance scheme, which will cost an arm and a leg to stipend earning NSS personnel, is interestingly woven around GLICO, whose owner is very cozy with the NPP regime.
Dr. Kwame Achampong-Kyei is believed to have contributed handsomely to the 2016 electioneering campaign of the NPP.
In June this year, he was one of a privileged few who had traveled first class to China in Vice President Bawumia’s 116 entourage.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Kwame Agyemang