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Stats: 17,241 members, 67,452 Topics, 15,140 Comments. Date: May 20 2019, 7:25 pm

Why Ask Prospective Corps Members To Pay N2,786.24 Just To Print Call-up Letters?

Nigeria Student Forum / Educational News / NYSC / Why Ask Prospective Corps Members To Pay N2,786.24 Just To Print Call-up Letters?

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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
200Level, Nigeria.

Why ask prospective corps members to pay N2,786.24 just to print call-up letters?

The N2,786.24 is not just for printing call-up letters. It is for the entire package of online registration, which requires the deployment of IT hardware and software and personnel to orientation camps all over the country but which also gives those who subscribe to it the advantage of processing their registration online, saving time during registration at the orientation camps and allowing them to use their thumbprints to identify themselves in case they lose or are dispossessed of their call-up letters.

In the past, corps members who lose or are dispossessed of their call-up letters had to go through a cumbersome process of swearing affidavits, getting validation from their schools which takes time and may force them to enlist on another batch.

With online registration, those who are unfortunate to lose their letters can identify themselves with their fingerprints. So the N2,786.24 fee is for the entire process and package of benefits.

Is the initiative, not extortionist and insensitive?

As explained above, the initiative was designed with all sense of fairness and sensitivity.

It is not an extortionist, as extortion implies the use of open or subtle threat. No open or subtle threat is involved here. It is not compulsory and non-use of it carries no sanction. It is only for those who choose to exercise the option after doing their own cost-benefit analysis. NYSC is sensitive to the fact that not everyone needs or can afford this.

Both those who need and can afford it and those who don’t need it or can’t afford it are given options to choose from. The initiative is thus both fair and sensitive.

Why not maintain the status quo?
Contrary to claims, the status quo remains. NYSC has not abolished the practice of prospective corps members going to their schools to pick call-up letters.

That is still allowed. What has happened is that an extra option has been introduced, which prospective corps members may choose or may not choose to exercise. Closing this new option will not necessarily be at zero cost to those who prefer the status quo, as prospective corps members have always been responsible for picking their call-up letters. But closing the option will be at the expense of those who will prefer it as this will rob them of their right to choose.

Q- If this is so desirable, why can’t government fund the initiative?

A- Based on familiarity with current trends and feedbacks/requests from past and present corps members, NYSC is convinced that this is a very desirable initiative in this digital age and will be to the benefits of corps members.

But given competing needs and shrinking government resources, NYSC realized that it would be necessary for it to seek alternative sources of funding for its various needs. Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach is one of the approved available options for expanding the pool of resources to the Scheme.

We are exercising this option to jump-start the comprehensive computerization of the operations of the Scheme.

This was done with strict observance of due process and with appropriate certification/guidance from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

The choice before us was between starting the initiative for those who need and can afford it or waiting for the time government will be able to fund it fully. We chose the former in the interest of our prospective corps members who want and choose to avail themselves of this option.

Q- Why can’t the ICT department of NYSC handle this?

A- The capacity of the ICT department of the Scheme has been enhanced over time and we will continue to improve our capacity in line with the needs of the digital age.

But the scale of the operation will demand more personnel than we have at the moment and the procurement of IT infrastructure in all NYSC camps and all states of the federation, both of which we don’t have the resources for.

Even if the staff members are there, the infrastructure is not there. That was why we opted for the PPP arrangement, with the provision that both the knowledge and the infrastructure will eventually be transferred to NYSC.

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