Retired Diplomat, K.B Asante, has stated that the current National Service programme is irrelevant.
“I think what we call National Service now is an apology of service to the people,” he told Accra-based Class FM on Tuesday, adding “There’s nothing service about it, there’s nothing national about it…”
His comments come in the wake of revelations by two ministerial nominees of President Akufo-Addo – Catherine Afeku and Otiko Afisa Djaba – that they did not do National service.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday, February 6, 2017, during her vetting as nominee for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Afeku disclosed that she did not honour her constitutional obligation because she was living outside Ghana at the time she completed tertiary education.
“I was living in Nairobi, Kenya at that time and because my parents were there, I was not given the opportunity to be in Ghana to undertake the national service,” she told the committee.
On her part, the Gender, Children and Social Protection minister designate, Ms. Djaba said she failed to do her national service because she was over 40 years old when she completed tertiary education.
“I did not undertake National Service upon completion of a course of study at the University of Development Studies (UDS), Wa Campus, in 2009, because I was informed that persons who were over forty (40) years of age were exempt from national service,” she explained.
The approval of the two nominees is likely to face stiff opposition from a section of the House as a result.
In his comments, however, Mr. Asante said the national service has “already lost its relevance and perhaps, we should revisit the drawing board and have another system and let’s … perhaps do it like a volunteer system.”