ALLOW THE USE OF NHIS CARD FOR 2017/2018 NSS REGISTRATION
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DATE: MONDAY, 24TH JULY, 2017
Following earlier press releases and statements by the National Service Secretariat (hereafter referred to as the Secretariat) barring the 2017/2018 NSS Personnel from the use of NHIS for registration, we the Concerned NSS Personnel by this statement, wish to present a written petition praying leadership of the National Service Scheme (hereafter referred to as the Scheme) to reconsider their position. Petitioners plead that management of the Scheme, for reasons discussed in the proceeding paragraphs, authorize the use of NHIS card for the registration exercise.
(1) We do acknowledge that the National Service Secretariat, by law, has the power to take decisions it may regard as necessary for the work of the Scheme, without prejudice to existing provisions of the National Service Act, 1980 and the Constitution.
(2) We do also acknowledge, taking a cue from Abu Ramadan & Anor vs. Electoral Commission & Anor, that the NHIS card is not exclusive to Ghanaians, and as such may have the names of foreign nationals.
(3) We acknowledge the effort of management of the Scheme in ensuring credibility in the registration process and ultimate sanity in the system for the good of Ghana by restraining personnel from the use of NHIS card for registration due to reasons captured in point two (2) above.
(4) We also acknowledge that the NSS Secretariat, in a presser dated 7th July, 2017, put restrain on the use of NHIS card for the registration exercise.
(5) We do acknowledge also that lists of qualified personnel, bearing in mind their citizenship as Ghanaians, were duly acquired from and submitted by accredited tertiary institutions in the country.
SCHEDULE A: STATEMENT OF FACTS
(1) The short period of thirteen (13) working days within which the notice barring the use of NHIS card for registration was served could not allow many prospective personnel to acquire the recommended national IDs.
(2) Not all personnel have the national IDs recommended by the Secretariat, namely, Voter's ID, Driving License or Ghanaian Passport.
(3) While personnel without Voter's ID could not secure one with the office of the Electoral Commission, those with missing Voter's ID have difficult times replacing their IDs.
(4) Until 7th July, 2017, no such communication regarding the restrain from the use of NHIS card for the purposes of registration was made to prospective national service personnel by the Secretariat.
(5) The Secretariat under the current circumstance has not provided any alternative to personnel for the facilitation of late acquisition of the recommended IDs, in all possible events.
(6) By restraining the use of NHIS card, significant number of personnel would be denied the opportunity to render their patriotic civic duty to their country for no fault of theirs, as the majority only have in possession NHIS card.
SCHEDULE B: PLEADINGS
(1) The Concerned National Service Personnel pray management of the National Service Scheme to allow the use of NHIS card for this year's (2017/2018) registration exercise.
(2) We further implore management to, alternatively, put in place measures to facilitate the late acquisition of the National Identifications required by the office for registration.
(3) We again propose that the management serve personnel beyond this year (2017/2018) adequate notice of prerequisites for registration ahead of time to avoid similar constraints.
(4) Where a person's nationality come under serious question(s), the Scheme may suspend the person's registration, pending the acquisition of a recommended national ID for verification.
It is important to highlight the frustration most prospective personnel are going through, some falling in the hands of unscrupulous individuals who tout themselves as agents of the Scheme in the process, due to a huge information gap that exists between the Secretariat and personnel. As much as we appreciate the enormity of work before the management of the Scheme, we want to also remind same, respectfully, that our fundamental rights and privileges as citizens of Ghana did not cease after deployment. These rights, we are aware of them. We want to serve our country in the best of our capacities and we want to do so without artificial bottlenecks. Considering the the discomfiture and inconveniences your untimely decision to restrain the use of NHIS cards for registration may cause National Service Personnel this year, we pray the powers of your jurisdiction to reconsider your earlier position. It is our hope and conviction that your generous office will find this petition worthy of your consideration.
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