My National Service Story: Naana Essien
Today we share the National Service experience of Naana Essien, one pretty and admirable lady.
Who is PrettyNaana?
My name is Naana Essien aka Prettynaana. I am a graduate of the University of Cape Coast and I read B.A Arts (English and Linguistics). Being a student of this noble institution was not easy not to talk of the quizzes at dawns and weekends, everyday assignments from every course lecturer, presentations and the likes. However, these things shaped us for the corporate world.
SERVING THE NATION; MY NATIONAL SERVICE JOURNEY
once we are done with school, the next thing is to work and serve the nation. The Government of Ghana has a policy in place to give graduates the opportunity to taste the working environment. This policy is in the form of National Service which is mandatory for every graduate to partake.
The Registration Process
The National Service Scheme (NSS) registration starts at school, in the last few months to complete tertiary. During my time in 2016, every student was supposed to pay a fee of GHC40 at ADB Bank and take a receipt which contains a student’s NSS registration Pin. This pin gives the student access to open the NSS registration portal for registration. Once all these are done, students have to wait for their postings in July. I must say, the system is not friendly in terms of registration; it is so rigid. One has to travel to the regional office of his/her area of posting for biometric registration which I believe it could be done at the district level to curb queueing at dawns (3:00 am) and to avoid confusion between students who get there first and protocol issues. With these challenges, one might lose the joy or the enthusiasm to start the service.
THE SERVICE EXPERIENCE
All things being equal, it was good. I was actually posted to the government sector but I did a reposting and ended up in the private sector in Accra which also posed another challenge. Since my family lives outside Accra, I had to look for an affordable accommodation which seemed not possible in Accra but finally, I got one but it was far from my work place. I didn’t have any choice than to go for that apartment and wake up early to get to work. This was so hectic for me. I would always get home late and go straight to bed. My life became static, following the same routine every day.
Like my nickname, I’m pretty so the harassments from some work colleagues and bosses were not out of the equation. To the extent that some will threaten you, thus, make you feel your stay in the company depends on them so you must give in to their demands. In all these things I was not afraid because I knew my future was not in anyone’s hands. I prayed and God gave me the wisdom to manage this harassment that came with my work. It was not easy; I must say, but God in His own way worked it out for me. I have been able to finish my service successfully without being rude to any of my harassers and I have been retained in this same company. This has helped me to develop a thicker skin and a more focused mind.
DELAYS IN SERVICE ALLOWANCE
Like I said, I got the opportunity to work in a private company so I didn’t really face this challenge because I was paid every two weeks. However, some of my colleagues in the government sectors complained about delays in the issuance of the allowance but they could also testify that it was better than the previous years’ where the delays could even clock three months and more. Though theirs were delaying, it was better as it could take just some few days or weeks.
BENEFITS/ SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE SERVICE PERSONNEL
I won’t say the journey was easy but everyone has the power to make challenges succumb to their control. In everything, JUST BE CALM, PRAY AND APPLY WISDOM. Learn how to manage your small allowances. Please don’t be greedy because that will make you give in to some of your boss’s evil demands. Look, it is God who has brought you this far not man, man can’t do anything for you unless God convicts him. And if it is from God, man won’t demand any evil payback like “scratch my back and I will scratch yours.” just be content with what you have. Just be HARDWORKING and God will pay you back. National Service is an opportunity to serve and learn. Be willing to learn, forget about those who wouldn’t like you, love all. Never say National Suffering, for whatsoever you say with your mouth, so shall you have it. Mine was so fruitful because when others were negative, I was positive.
HOW CAN NSS BE BETTER?
I suggest government should put in place system software where every student can register online on their own. Also, allowances to service personnel should be paid by the end of every month.
In all, I can say National Service has prepared me for higher heights and I’m proud I’ve also been able to serve the nation.