Researched by Rabiu Alhassan
Satirical website, hardtruthgh.com in a terse news report on September 25 claimed the National Service Secretariat has announced an increase in the monthly allowances of service personnel.
The article that comes with the headline: “JUST IN: National Service Allowance to Be Increased to GHS699 With Immediate Effect – Hon. Mustapha Ussif” has since been republished by other blogging websites(here and here) and shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Ghana’s National Service Scheme is a one-year mandatory employment program for all tertiary graduates under the age of 40.
Fourteen public posts of the Hardtruthgh.com article on Facebook has so far received more than 5,400 interactions, insights from the crowdtangle digital tool have shown.
NSS aware of personnel struggles
According to Hardtruthgh.com, the announcement was made by the executive director of the National Service Secretariat, Hon. Mustapha Ussif during a press briefing “in the early hours of Friday, 25th September 2020”.
“Hon. Mustapha Ussif went on to talk about their awareness of the struggle service personnel go through when their monthly allowances are finally been paid, with respect to the current mode of payment. He said, arrangements are been made for Service Personnel to receive their GHS699 monthly allowance through their preferred mobile money networks,” the article further stated.
The news story is fabricated and the website Hardtruthgh.com provides a disclaimer at the bottom of the article that, “most articles published by us [hardtruthgh.com] are fictitious irrespective of how similar they are to real-life issues and events.”
Despite this disclaimer, blogging websites that subsequently published the story did not label the article as such and discussions on social media are portraying the claim as true.
GhanaFact checks from the website of the Ghana National Service Secretariate showed there had been no such announcement.
Further checks from the Facebook page of the secretariate revealed the government agency had taken notice of the news article and is calling on the general public to “disregard” it while labelling it as “Fake.”
GhanaFact has in the past flagged news articles published by the same website, Hardtruthgh.com as false.
On August 31, the NSS released postings of 86,478 eligible graduates from accredited tertiary institutions and private registrants who enrolled for the 2020/2021 national service, to various user agencies across Ghana.
The national service personnel are currently entitled to a monthly allowance of GHS559.4.
The claim that National Service Secretariat has announced an increase in the monthly allowances of service personnel to GHS699 with immediate effect is false.
Source: Ghana Fact.