Did you graduate from an accredited tertiary institution, and you are looking forward to joining the one-year national service? Even though it is a legal requirement, the National Service Secretariat (NSS) has formulated progressive laws, making the one-year service worth undertaking. For example, the NSS allowance is one of the incentives for joining the service.
Due to the ambiguity of some rules governing NSS allowance payment, it may be hard to predict the possible increment in the monthly payouts. Fortunately, the Ministry of Finance has increased the minimum allowance progressively in the past decade.
Ghana National Service allowance eligibility
Once you have been posted on the Ghana National Service, you automatically qualify for the NSS remittance. However, to get the payment, you must report to duty and be integrated at work. For example, if you delay reporting to duty due to a personal issue, you may miss the allowance, even if you have written to the secretariat informing them why you may not report on time.
NSS allowance payment lasts for one year. However, if the institution offers you an integration deal to its workforce, you lose the eligibility of receiving the monthly remittance from NSS. Fortunately, the integration processes are initiated after one year at the National Service lapse.
The NSS allowance as of 2021
Due to different factors in the placement process, the service does not have uniform pay. As a result, some service members earn more than others, especially those in corporate and non-governmental organisations. Fortunately, NSS harmonised the payments across different members four years ago by increasing the basic allowance.
So, how much is NSS allowance as of 2021? Since 2017, the basic NSS allowance has been GH¢559.04. The ministry increased the amount from GH¢350.00. At the end of the service, each member earns a gross income of GH¢ 6,700.
Like other constitutional organisations in Ghana, there are deductions. For example, the NSS deducts GH¢ 15 from the gross income to fund the NASPA (National Service Personnel Association) week celebration.
Even though many have viewed the GH¢ 15 cut as “a hidden charge,” it is part of the association’s constitution. Members cannot, therefore, opt out of the NASPA membership. Fortunately, the Ministry of Finance does not tax the income.
NSS allowance increment 2020/2021
Contrary to many reports that NSS has increased the basic allowance in 2020/2021, there is no official communication from the secretariat. However, in instances where the NSS increased the basic allowance, such as in 2017, there was an official press release.
However, different NSS personnel have started a campaign for the government to relook at the allocation. The main argument for the increment push is that the 2017 figures do not reflect the 2021 financial realities, especially to the thousands of service personnel.
How to check NSS allowance
The service sends the allowance every month. The only way to know if you have received your share is to check on the NSS portal. However, you must have an account with them first.
To check the NSS dashboard allowance:
- Go to the portal.
- Put your Email and password.
- Click "Sign In".
- Once you have signed in, navigate to the "NSS Dashboard."
- Click the "Allawa" option.
Once you have opted for the "Allawa" option, you can check all the financial details, such as the available allowance. If you have any additional details, such as deductions, they will be displayed.
In some cases, the secretariat may not send the payments on time. In such a case, you will see ‘Processing’ as an indication that the funds will be available soon. However, you should ask your fellow service personnel if they got the same message on the dashboard to be certain that the delay is across all personnel.
NSS Ghana allowance determiners
While most of the personnel get the standard pay, there are some instances where the monthly income may supersede the average pay. The exceptional cases include:
Where one is placed
Although NSS’s main duty is to give all personnel a similar experience, some service persons have more experience in specific areas compared to others. Therefore, the allowances may differ based on one's experience.
For example, when one is posted in Corporations, quasi-church organisations, and statutory boards, the government pays the allowance through the Ministry of Finance. Instead, the organisations remit the payment. Hence, in most cases, these organisations pay a higher remittance compared to other placements.
The same case applies to personnel in private companies. Unlike statutory boards and corporations, private companies are required to pay an equivalent of 20% of the current service remittance to the secretariat. In most cases, the monthly remittance exceeds the basic NSS allowance.
The only exception is the educational institutions that are not required to remit the 20% service charge. In such cases, the personnel gets the basic remittance unless they have miscellaneous allowances.
Like other constitutional institutions, NSS has miscellaneous allowance provisions. The two main legal ways you can earn extra allowance are:
1. Performing out-of-station duties
If you perform any task that is not on your job description, you automatically qualify for Overnight Allowance. The amount payable must, however, correspond to what officers in the same position are paid.
2. Using personal means of transport on official duty
You may use your vehicle or means of transportation for official duty. In such a case, you are eligible for compensation in the form of a Car Maintenance Allowance.
However, all the additional payments must be cleared by National Service Secretariat. If not verified on time, the payable amount may be pushed to the next month by the secretariat.
Besides the many advantages of enrolling on the National Service, the NSS allowance helps the service personnel offset some financial obligations during the 12 months. Although the Ghanaian government has continuously revised the remittance to match the economic realities of the day, it has not revised the figure in 2020/2021.
Through the portal, new and continuing learners can now inquire, register, pay fees, and access vital information concerning their academics. UG scholars can now achieve their academic goals in the comfort of their homes.