A non-governmental organisation, Citizens Advocacy Initiative for Accountability Leadership (CAIFAL), has asked a Federal High Court in Lagos to order the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to account for over N2. 4 billion allegedly ‘illegally received from prospective corps members’.
The group accused NYSC of charging a mandatory N3000 call-up letter fee from prospective youth corps members, contrary to its enabling law.
The group stated that NYSC officials in connivance with a private company, Sidmach Technologies Limited, charged N3000 fee to prospective corps members to print out their call-up letters before they are mobilised for the mandatory national youth service in clear contravention of its enabling laws.
Addressing a press conference after filing the action yesterday, the group’s chairman, board of trustees, Chief Tony Dania stated that the aim of the suit is to get a court pronouncement, halting the alleged ‘illegality’.
He said since 2014, NYSC introduced the payment of N3,000 as fees paid by graduating Nigerian students popularly referred to as “Prospective Corps Members” (PCM), who are to be “mobilized”/“conscripted” into the one year “compulsory” and ‘mandatory’ service to their fatherland.
The group stated that ‘’it a criminal offence under the NYSC Act 1993, if a graduate, who is not exempted, refused to be mobilized), is very wrong, improper, fraudulent, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, condemnable and conspicuously contradictory to the positive change and anti-corruption policies of the current Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari”.
CAIFAL said NYSC should be made to account for the monies so far realized from the previous collections, and that the perpetrators should be punished according to the Law.
According to the group, NYSC claimed to have entered into a Public Private Partnership arrangement that gave Sidmach 70% or 60% of the proceeds and the balance to the NYSC, but added that no money has been remitted into the Federation Account or the NYSC Account.
But, the group stated that investigations it conducted revealed that the Finance Department of the NYSC has vehemently denied the illegal collection of those fees and claimed ignorance of where the money so far realized was kept or how it was expended.
“The N1,000 re-deployment fees collected from any of the Mobilized Corps Member, who wants to be re-deployed, was not being taken into consideration when we arrived at the N2. 4 Billion stated above”, they said.
The group called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to urgently investigate the alleged fraud and prosecute the culprits.