The Director General’s statement follows an undercover investigation exposing how corps members falsify medical documents to bypass protocols.
The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) carried out the investigative report in an undercover operation.
Major Gen. Ibrahim, who was represented by the Director, Corps Welfare and Health Service Department, Omotade Ayodele Folorunso, also revealed that the Scheme would do more in prosecuting culprits of document forgery during an anti-corruption radio programme, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, Wednesday in Abuja.
Folorunso acknowledged that some prospective corps members forge medical certificates and purchase posting to states of service for a token. He said the Scheme has, however, put checks to ensure falsified documents are not received from corps members at camps across the country.
“NYSC has put in a lot of measures to sanitize and ensure that due process is followed in the way we do our things. For prospective corps members, our routine operations to ensure that whoever is coming to the camp is genuine, we have a team at the gate which comprises NYSC officials, a team that comprises of members of the Nigerian Army, the NSCDC, the DSS, pharmacists, doctors, nurses, technologists all gamut of representation are there.”
“NYSC will do more in stamping out corruption perpetrated by corps members who procure postings to states and those who falsify medical reports.”
He revealed that corps members caught with fake documents in the past are handed over to the Nigeria Police Force for prosecution and blamed parents for aiding and abetting corruption in the NYSC program.
“We are collaborating with virtually all relevant government agencies, and the federal ministry of health is a particular collaborating agency that we deal with. When culprits are caught, we hand them over to the police, the ones within the ambit of the NYSC administration. We have the bylaws that guide us.”
Folorunso called for the heat to be turned on the Ministry of Health since most of the fake medical reports by corps members emanate from major hospitals across the country.
“Let us re-examine our value system in the country. And to the youths, the fact that leaders have failed does not mean that youths cannot also be on the side of good integrity,” He stressed.
On her part, Legal Adviser and Director, Gender Inclusion and Yes Project Initiative, Barr Mary Ogwiji, said the forgery problem is caused by the breakdown of law and order generally in the country, as well as the inability of the system to prosecute culprits regularly.
Ogwiji called on the government to tackle insecurity as it will, in turn, help in crashing down the spate of quackery committed by corps members. She also urged the preaching of patriotism amongst citizens to be encouraged.
“Someone has to ask the NYSC what they have been doing concerning the persons they have picked up. Although under the NYSC bye-laws, item 16, it is written there that anyone who forges a certificate will be handed over to the police for due prosecution, now the question is, is the NYSC reporting the rising cases of forged certificates.” Ogwiji queried.
Similarly, an investigative journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Nurudeen Akewushola, identified the prosecution of perpetrators of forgery as a problem, noting that synergy between NYSC and the Ministry of Health was lacking and
now encouraging the corruption.
“One of the things that we were able to find out is that before there was a synergy between the NYSC and Ministry of Health on ensuring that Nigeria Medical Association’s (NMA) stamp is attached to medical certificates at least to ascertain the authenticity, but you find out that this is not even happening again,” Akewushola stated.
Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.