civil society organisation, Competent Governance for Accountability and Trust (CGAT) has called for reforms in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme to ensure efficient digital documentation and more transparent authentication processes.
CGAT made the call while reacting to the ongoing controversy between the NYSC and the Governor-elect of Enugu State, Dr Peter Mbah, over his discharge certificate.
In a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by its National Coordinator, Omoba Michael, and her Deputy Coordinator, Godwin Erheriene, the group urged the Federal Government to disband the scheme if it had outlived its usefulness to avoid what the group described as “an embarrassment the agency is causing Nigerians.”
It said the one-year mandatory national service was a process and the discharge certificate of anyone, who successfully passed the entire process, should never be a matter of controversy.
“The fact is that an NYSC discharge certificate is not a privilege conferred by the NYSC; it is the statutory right of anyone, who diligently undergoes the one-year mandatory service.
“Interestingly, the NYSC has not denied that it mobilised Dr. Mbah for national service vide call-up number 01134613 and reference number NYSC/FRN/2001/800351.
“It has not denied that it posted Mbah to Lagos State; it has not denied that it posted Mbah to Udeh & Associates for his primary assignment or that the law firm accepted him vide a letter to State Director of the NYSC in Lagos dated 11th March, 2002.
‘it has not denied that it gave Dr. Mbah a written permission dated 1st October 2002 and with reference number NYSC/DHQ/CM/M/27 to defer the remaining part of his service year and return to the Nigerian Law School for his Bar Final.
“Importantly, the NYSC has not denied its letter of 7th May 2003 with reference number NYSC/DHQ/CM/27/20 directing its state’s director in Lagos to ‘re-instate the corps member (Peter Mbah) to continue his service year from where he stopped, with effect from May 2003.’
“Udeh & Associates has not equally denied that it issued the various clearance letters that enabled Mbah to receive his monthly allowance during his service year and the final clearance letter certifying that he completed the one year of NYSC in their office from 7th January, 2002 to 6th January, 2003.
“It, therefore, baffles us how Mbah, having passed through these processes, would end up fabricating a discharge certificate for himself,” the group.
CGAT then asked the agency to tell Nigerians where Mbah’s authentic certificate if it claimed that the discharge certificate the governor-elect was holding was not issued by it.
“The NYSC is overdue for reform and retooling. The FG should, therefore, urgently reform the agency or disband it altogether if it has outlived its usefulness,” it concluded.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NYSC had issued letters stating that it did not issue Mbah’s discharge certificate.
Against this backdrop, Mbah had dragged the agency before a Federal High Court, Abuja demanding N20 billion from the agency and its Director of Corps Certification, Mr Ibrahim Muhammad, as general and exemplary damages for alleged conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts.(NAN)