The controversy surrounding the introduction of N4,000 for call-up letters issuance by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been resolved.
Report has it that the House of Representatives Committee on Youth Development has approved the N4,000 for the online registration of members of the National Youth Service Corps ,NYSC.
Chairman of the committee, Rep Kamil Akinlabi revealed this while giving update on the investigation into the new policy, during a media chat with House of Representatives Press Corps.
Akinlabi said that the fund would be used for installation of equipment at the NYSC offices nationwide adding that the fund would enable the contractor handling the project to recoup investment within five years.
The House after the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hassan Saleh, directed NYSC management to suspend forthwith the policy requiring prospective Corp members to pay the sum of N4,000 with effect from 2015 to access their call up letters.
Akinlabi said: “from the onset, when the matter was brought to our attention, the first thing we felt was the way you are feeling but after constructive engagement, we discovered that it was an innovation that we can’t run from.
“First, it was not the responsibility of the NYSC to mobilize respective Corp member to get their call-up letter, it is the responsibility of the parent. If somebody schooled in Lagos but lives in Kano and to get his call-up letter he has to travel to school.
He explained further that “so you will discover that it’s time consuming, risky and very expensive. So what the NYSC has done is to partner with a consultant that is already handling similar project for JAMB and WAEC that has eliminated similar risk to partner with them through PPP arrangement.
“And that PPP arrangement will be on Built Operate and Transfer. What are the terms of agreement? The contractor would be responsible 100 percent for the purchase and installation of every gadget that will be necessary to achieve that in all the 36 headquarters including FCT and in all local government headquarters as well as all orientation camps across the country.
“So, when we look at the cost of getting the equipment purchased and installing in all those strategic points, how will they recoup their investment since government is not injecting a penny?
They proposed N6,000 so we interacted with them that there is no way this should be on a very high side.
“But when they came up with the debt payback system they agreed with the bank. The amount and the interest they agreed, we discovered that if they couldn’t get their money within 5 years, it will not be a good business for them, so what is the minimum or maximum we can agree to make them recoup their money on time?
“So in order to ask them to go through the normal process and see if the federal government will be able to adapt the process and finance it.
But in the process, the Public Procurement was contacted and they had a certificate of No Objection. And we discovered that Concessionaire Commission was not carried along whether there will be a better way of handling this type of issue.
” But we discovered that the only thing we could do is to get the cost of N6,000 reduced. So when we got that approved we summoned the NYSC DG and his team, they came.
“To say Nigerians should pay more than N6,000 is not possible, so they came with N4,500 and later they agreed for N4,000. So they will now be operating after installing the equipment for five years and later transfer the equipment because it is Build Operate and Transfer.”
In his lead debate, Saleh frowned at the imposition of N4,000 on thousands of fresh graduates across the country, called for the intervention of the House to stop the extortion.
He maintained that “as laudable as the idea of sending call up letters through the internet may be, the decision requiring fresh graduates to cough out N4,000 to access the letters appears insensitive and exploitative.”
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