It has emerged that a group of young people have filed a case in court against the infamous insurance scheme adopted by the National Service Scheme and the National Service Personnel Association of Ghana.
Following the implementation of the policy, each national service person will pay GHC 15 monthly. In cases of injury and death at workplace, they are entitled to be paid GHC 3000 and GHC 15000 respectively. There are a number of questions begging for answers :
1. Is there any historical data from the national service secretariat showing the percentage or even number of service personnel sustaining injuries at workplaces? That data if it exists must be shown for us to know how much of a problem injury and death are for service personnel.
2. In the absence of such historical data, we need to do some analysis on the probability of injury occurring during national service. There are some places which are inherently accident prone, examples may include oil companies, construction companies etc. What percentage of postings go to these places? And how many personnel are involved? It is only when there is a representative sample of people posted to these places that a wholesale insurance policy can be justified.
3. In implementing or “facilitating” (as the NSS secretariat want us to say) this policy, has the Secretariat averted its mind to the Workmen’s Compensation Act (PNDC Law 187)? That law clearly outlines the responsibilities of an employer in cases of injury suffered by an employee at work. It specifically states “where an employee sustains personal injury by accident arising out of, and in the course of employment, the employer is liable, subject to this act, to pay compensation. Doesn’t the NSS insurance scheme which requires personnel to pay a compulsory GHC 15 shift responsibility from the employer to the employee?
4. We are told NASPA signed onto the policy on behalf of personnel. Does NASPA have the capacity to sign its members onto a policy that places financial liability on them? Where shall that capacity arise from, given that NASPA is not a legal entity under the National Service Act, 426?
5. There is supposed to be an aspect of it where personnel are entitled to access loans of up to 500 cedis payable within 6 months. The question is ‘why do service personnel need to sign onto a compulsory insurance policy in order to access loans?’ We know that service personnel take their monthly allowance from designated banks, in much the same way as GES teachers or GHS nurses take their salaries from banks. If teachers and nurses can access loans from their banks, why does it have to take an insurance policy to enable NSS personnel have access to loans?
Without addressing the questions raised above, the insurance policy will remain illegitimate and possibly illegal. It is in this light that we at The Economic Fighters League commend the initiators of the court action in the hope that the court will quash the policy and pave the way for a more reasonable process to be instituted on the basis of the Workmen’s Compensation Act 187.
All Ghanaians are encouraged to speak out and offer their support.
Commander Hardi Yakubu