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NYSC Director General admits that Inspectors Extort Money from Corps Members

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Almost every Nigerian who has passed through the mandatory one year National Youth Service scheme would have experiences of extortion from NYSC staff in one way or the other. From the point where you have to submit documents to influence your posting (for married women and nursing mothers), to the orientation camp, the registration period, redeployment processes, the service year and the passing out period, most youth corps members have unwillingly had to part with their money to ensure they complete their service year.

If I begin to share all my experiences of extortion from NYSC staff, it would be an uncomfortably long read.

But the most annoying one that I experienced was at my Community Development Service (CDS) group in Lagos state. Every month, we donate a compulsory N200 which we were told by the NYSC staff at our local government, was meant for our final project. I was in the Environmental CDS Group, so ordinarily, we thought our final project would be an Environmental project and we had already started making our plans on what we wanted to do with the money (something to help promote cleanliness within our local government). However, we were shocked when some weeks to the end of the service year, our CDS officers at the local government told us what they wanted us to purchase with the money. They asked us to buy plastic chairs, a table and a water dispenser for their use in the office! Other CDS groups were given similar demands. Some were asked to make notice boards around the local government and others were asked to donate funds to renovate their toilets.

It was totally annoying to say the least.

What is the cause of my ranting you might ask? Today, I read a Punch report which noted that the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brig.Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia yesterday reaffirmed my position that some of the inspectors of the scheme extort money from corps members.

The NYSC chief who was represented at an event by the Director, Corps Welfare and Inspection, Mr. Emmanuel Obi, also said many of the inspectors had performed poorly.

He told some NYSC inspectors at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Inspectors Development Programme organised for inspectors in the South at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Ogun State, that it was regrettable the attitude of many of them left so much to be desired.

“Reports from the recent nationwide inspection and corps members’ forum indicated that some of you engage in acts capable of bringing the scheme into disrepute.

“Unwholesome practices such as delegating your responsibilities to corps members, non-residence in the communities where your workplaces are located, thereby leading to irregular attendance and poor supervision of corps members not only detract from the noble objectives of the scheme but negatively affect her corporate image,” he was quoted as saying.

When most public servants are confronted with accusations of corruption from the citizens, the response is mostly denial. So it makes me somewhat glad that the NYSC leadership actually admits that there is a problem of extortion among its staff. I only hope that this admittance would lead to finding solutions to the embarrassing problem.

Have you passed through the NYSC service year. Did you have any experiences of extortion from NYSC staff during your service year?

Please share with us.

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

18 Comments

  1. natty

    September 13, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Adeola your complaining about plastic chairs, a cds group bought ac that a lady carried to her house. Another cds supervisor in my state threaten a girl that she won’t pass out unless she had sex with him, which she did, this same yeye supervisor refused to allow me sign attendance ,even though he knew I never missed a cds day, long story shorti had to bribe him .

  2. Naijagirl

    September 13, 2012 at 9:46 am

    The DG is very correct. I am currently serving and would pass out by God’s grace come October. I made up my mind never to bribe my way to get any favours from the NYSC officials and I’ve successfully done that even though I’ve had to pay the price of being delayed during monthly clearances and stuff like that even when I’m there early enough while others who came late but paid thier way through were attended to way before me. And sometimes, it was hard! If not for God, I’m sure I would have ‘dropped something’ The new trick these officials use is to force us to buy ‘newsletters’ before they sign our CDS cards. Just in July, in my LG, we were asked to pay N50 each for the same newsletter 3 consecutive weeks before our CDS cards could be signed. And my LG is the most populated in Lagos (so you can guess which LG that is!), and I’m sure it is in the whole of Nigeria. When it got to the 3rd week, I had to tell my coordinator no way! not because I couldn’t afford N50 but I thought it as a bribe and I did not want to take part in it. In my opinion though, its not only the NYSC, corruption has eaten deep inside each and every one or us- both individually and collectively- it will only take a strong determination coupled with necessary action and the help of God to kill this culture…

  3. Triangle

    September 13, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I served in FCT and was in Legal Aid CDS. I never experienced any form of extortion frm d beginning of my service year to d end. We paid N20 for our passport to be attached to our posting letters, and another N1000 for prison visitation. Fellow corp members handled d prison visit and we ensured the money was put to proper use.
    Infact Mrs Bassey our CDS cordi used to tell us neva to part wit a kobo to anyone. FCT secretariat is clean,its probably peculiar to Lagos and some other states.
    I miss my CDS 🙁 ‘Legal Aid’, ‘Justice for all’

    • buchi

      September 13, 2012 at 10:42 am

      i served in abj too n i have to agree, there was no extortion( unless u need some ‘illegal’ assistance). Is this what other corp members r put through? Shame!

    • Msunderstood

      September 14, 2012 at 1:45 am

      Same with me. I served in Abuja n bribery during NYSC year sounds strange to me.

  4. onyinye

    September 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

    my own issue, is how rude and aggressive these inspectors are, its annoying when after going through the rigors of a Nigerian university, an old fool who can`t even boast of an O level certificate insults you all in the name of NYSC. I don`t blame them shaa…..one female official brings her Aba made clothes to sell at the LG quarters and would try to make us buy her wares before signing our cards…..seriously these are clothes i won`t even caught dead wearing….

  5. merciful

    September 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Alll this stories, am hoping to serve soon o. *I pray God grants me a peaceful, fullfilled,funfilled, stressless, free no extortion services year IJN! Amen…

  6. Ready

    September 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I served in Ibadan this past year, and no extortion. We were asked to donate 100 bucks each month, but that was for supplies and stuff. To the person who paid 50 bucks for newsletter, Periscope price was increased to N100..you overpaid by 50 bucks. Everything we paid for in our CDS groups, we knew what the money was for. And whenever some schedule officers or LGIs tried to overstep, some corpers made their discontent known.
    For those who pay for reposting and redeployment and stuff, I’m sorry but I don’t empathize or sympathize. You’re flouting the law and want things your own way…you should pay for that in cash or in fines. It’s that simple.

  7. Ready

    September 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Let me also add that I don’t really blame inspectors for asking for stuff like chairs. These local governments are usually so unattractive and poorly furnished. There are barely enough chairs for meetings and in my LG, we contributed to make benches. There was a caretaker LG chairman and we know those ones are too focused on getting elected to do anything. These people sit in poorly ventilated offices where they’re overcrowded by corpers who all want to get things done immediately.
    Many LG chairmen don’t spend money on office maintenance, they just come to the office like once a month to share their allocations, and don’t do any actual work. That’s why these people usually try to get corpers to fix up the LG a little bit because no one else willl do it.

    • mimi

      September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      I agree with what you have said regarding the state of the offices these NYSC staff have to put up with at the LG and it is really a shame. However, I don’t think it is right of them to pass on this “office maintenance” to corpers. Not only is it unfair because not every corper has the same amount of money available seeing as some might have children, old parents, etc to take care of and might not be able to afford these “refurbishments” but the manner such officials ask for the money (arrive for CD only to hear that you’re donating N500 extra or your card won’t be signed) is enough to make the situation much more stressful for corpers.

  8. Temiyemi

    September 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    A guy I know bought a generator as bribe. I now don’t know if it was for the secretariat or taken to the officer’s house.

  9. brandigest

    September 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    That’s a stale News. What is he doing about it? has any one lost his/her job?
    http://www.brandigest.wordpress.com

  10. Kemi

    September 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I’m serving soon o choi! it is well..
    journeyofthechosen.wordpress.com

  11. iamfascinating

    September 14, 2012 at 6:59 am

    lol, he shouldn’t even go there.

    http://www.thestunninglady.blogspot.com

  12. masked

    September 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

    My ZI has being asking me to have lunch or drink with him and his friends since o and its not funny. i just hope he won’t do anyfin funny wen i’m passing out cos i av told him i’m not hungry and don’t drink. We will live thru this! Corpers WI!

  13. MEE

    September 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    @Ready I wish I culd hug u right now! News letters are published by d editorial CDs group,made up of corpers only, wen u donate ur monthley dues,do u give D moni to ur CDs supervisor? Didn’t u have excos? Were u forced to build a toilet or buy plastic chairs or furnish dia offices? Am saying all dis cos I’v served, n I see a lot of corpers trying to disrespect NYSC staff cos dey believ most of dem are illiterates,I askd n I was told its only graduates who are employed as inspectors, s(xcept for d junior staff who hardly deal with corpers) so u can’t just conclude dt NYSC staff can’t boast of O levels! U just hav complex problem.n Adeola who wrote dis piece is so wrong, u may not be a jornalist, but u can’t report an issue in D manner u did, u r so wrong about d nursing mothers and married women part,cos dos are d two group of persons dat gets automatic posting to dia places of choice. How do u bribe to submit documents? If u did,den u probably did dat cos u wanted to get ur kits on time n went ahead to bribe, cos am just imagining how bribery happens in d midst of dat long queue where all eyes are on evrybody to ensure evryone gets cleard on time bfor opening ceremony.I totally agree with Ready, if u paid cos u wanted things done ur way, den don’t blame d people u paid,cos u r worse dan dem. N u can only giv ur money if u want to,if aren’t in ur station n u hav an arrangement wi ur Zi,it is ur account ur money is paid to,bfor u giv him\her a cut na,abi? D okore affai himself who is complaining, has he tried to build offices for staff? Nysc is always given a tiny place withing local government secetariats,n always looking shabby, after Donkey years of dis national scheme only about 10 states can boast of permanent orientation camps, no staff quarters,no an inspector on grade level 8 whose usualy a degree holder earns 51,000,stays in dilapidated offices, go to camp n work for d 3weeks, conduct clearance monthlty etc, wheras a civil defence staff on grade level 8 earns 155k monthly, for doing almost nothing dan wearing navy blue n red uniform n being everywhere! Tink wateva, but trust me,am not an NYSC staff! Bt I tink d millitary guys who had bin heading d scheme hav not being doing well, n people really need to stop accusing nysc staff! Tank u!

  14. AJIBADE DARE B

    December 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    My own case is different a little bit,I’m batch c 2011 corp member initially i was posted to Gombe state but due to the northern problem FG granted us mass redeployment and i was posted back to Ekiti state in February and i was not pay [allowance] till June and i informed my LGI of which there no any positive result till we did our P O P and i have been called my LGI on these issue but my question is this where is my 4 month allowance is it with my inspector or with FG or i should forget about it

  15. so3

    December 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    @MEE and the rest of you saying there’s no extortion,that’s so untrue. That there was none in your zone or Local Government doesn’t mean it does not happen. Whether or not NYSC staff are paid well should not be my problem as a corp member. If that’s the case, we will all get our “customers”, clients and visitors to all our offices to donate to renovate all our dilapitated offices just because. When I served, we were asked to pay N300 to open a file at the zonal office. I had the exact file in my hand which I bought earlier that day for N20 but they insisted I buy theirs or else I won’t complete my documentation. Your beloved NYSC officials were charging 15 times the price. Imagine! This is a zonal office I am talking about. People from 2 other LGs were meant to come there as well. So you can imagine the amount of money they were making. To add insult to injury, the person collecting the money was refusing to give change saying we had to buy him soft drinks for the work he was doing. I was too vexed to even smile at him. I insisted on my complete change.
    It’s a defeated scheme(ie NYSC), in my opinion. But it won’t be scrapped cos it has become a business venture and a source of cheap labour.

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