A former director of mobilisation at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Anthony Ani, has said that it is not proper to apply for exemption certificate from the scheme.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programme on Channels Television, yesterday, Ani said prospective corps members only present their credentials.
He said it is the corps that determines if a graduate would be exempted or undergo the one-year programme.
Premium Times had reported that the exemption certificate Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, presented when she was appointed into the federal cabinet is fake.
But the NYSC responded saying Adeosun applied for exemption certificate and that it would investigate the issues raised by the newspaper.
However, Ani said applying for any certificate from NYSC is alien to the corps.
He added that the Section 2 of the NYSC Act which incidentally is embedded in the constitution under Section 315, states categorically that once you graduate, you are supposed to make yourself available for mobilisation.
“You don’t apply for either NYSC certificate of national service or certificate of exemption, you present yourself for mobilisation.
“The system will determine whether you are to be exempted or you are not to be exempted. So, according to the law, all those who graduated with effect from 1974, who studied abroad or in Nigeria, and you are not above 30 years at the point of graduation, you are supposed to make yourself available for mobilisation and you will be deployed. If you are above 30, you will be exempted.”
Ani added that other categories of graduates that will be exempted are those who have served in the Nigerian Police or the military for not less than nine months.
“Also, if you have an honours award, if you are with the defence or security (DSS, or NSO as it used to be). These are the only people that have been exempted. But even if you graduate at the age of 20, you are in US, and you have not made yourself available to be mobilised, whenever you come back, even if you are 60 years, you have to undergo the NYSC,” he said.
When asked if anyone below 30 can be exempted upon application, the former director said, “It is not so. It is not possible because it is against the NYSC Act.”
Speaking further, he said by the NYSC procedure, “you don’t apply for exemption and expect a certificate. You make yourself available [for mobilisation], when you are mobilised, those who are to be exempted are exempted and those who are to be deployed are deployed. And just as we are preparing call up letter for those who are being deployed, the exemption certificate is prepared down. It doesn’t take any time at all.”
…I can’t add anything to what scheme said – Lai Moh’d
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, declined comments on the allegations that his Finance counterpart, Kemi Adeosun, forged an exemption certificate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Approached by state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, yesterday, Mohammed said, “The government has spoken. NYSC is part of government and I have nothing to add to what the NYSC has said.”
Responding to a report by Premium Times that Adeosun allegedly forged her exemption certificate, NYSC said the minister did apply for the certificate but promised to investigate circumstances surrounding the allegations of forgery.
“Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun,” NYSC had said in a statement signed by Adeyemi Adenike, its Director of Press.
“Checking our records, Mrs. Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate. We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question.”
Adeosun graduated from the Polytechnic of East London in 1989, at 22. According to her curriculum vitae, the finance minister was born in March 1967.
Those who are above the age of 30 years as of the time of the one-year mandatory service get exempted from NYSC.
In addition to being a requirement for government and private sector jobs in Nigeria, the enabling law prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificate.