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Friday, 10 October 2014

N4,000 NYSC call-up extortion

SIR: I READ with consternation the news in The Guardian (Saturday, September 20, 2014) that the National Youth Service Commission (NYSC) intends to charge Corps members Four thousand Naira to print their Call Up letters on line. Chief Gordon Bozimo, the Chairman of the NYSC tried to justify the payment, saying it would “improve efficiency and reduce the risk associated with the collection of call up letters” He was quoted to have added that ‘N4,000 is a little compared to what parents spend now’. Will someone tell me since when it has become the responsibility of the end user to pay for the efficiency of a government office? The insensitivity of people in government knows no bounds. Have we no shame anymore, and no sense of propriety?    The Federal Road Safety Commission came up with its own scam sometime ago and fleeced motorists of a large chunk of money for driver’s License and plate numbers. Are Nigerians better off since then? Someone somewhere smiled to the bank. The NYSC is about to do the same. One state government tried a copy cat but public outcry made them to shelve it. The Immigration department did its own version sometime ago with its attendant loss of lives. Despite all the protestations, nothing came out of it.
    Already some schools, with their minimal resources post their examination results and admissions online for students. Why is a government agency unable to budget and do its work within budget without resorting to underhand tactics?
    Why do people in government behave like an army of occupation and show so much disdain for their own people? Is it not the responsibility of government to make life easy for the governed? Why then does the government not make the National Service optional and let us see how many of our children will come forward to endure the indignity to which they are subjected? Have our leaders forgotten the reason why the National Youth Service scheme was instituted? Why does government needlessly make life hard for the average Nigerian?
    On the average, 300,000 persons go for National Service. This Call Up letter Business will fetch the NYSC at least N1.2b. What do they want to do with all this money? What does it take to get the names of candidates onto the Internet and let each person with access print at convenience? Someone should tell those behind this project that using the internet is no longer rocket science.  All other security protocols can be put in place without costing a leg and an arm.
   Clearly this is another case of unconscionable exploitation of the masses, or is it also part of the ingenuity of politicians to raise money for the 2015 election?
    It is heartless for NYSC to dream up this scheme.
Nigerians should Wake up, Speak up and say No to Exploitation. 
• Bolaji D’Almeida,
Lagos

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