Graduates of the University of Ibadan and University of Nigeria Nsukka have been disallowed from participating in the Batch C orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) due to the failure of their schools to comply with NYSC directives.
Joy (not real name) told FIJ she could not wait to be at her orientation camp in Abia State after printing her NYSC call-up letter. She embarked on her journey to her state of deployment on November 1, 2022.
The journey was stressful, but she was thankful to God that she arrived safely. Already, the terror on Nigerians on the roads these days is enough to discourage anyone from embarking on that journey.
But to her dismay, on arriving at the camp, she met a situation she never envisaged. The camp management branded all of them from the University of Ibadan as ineligible to participate in the orientation programme.
“The day I printed by call-up letter, I was excited. I was asked to report to the camp on November 3. I left home with joy, even though the insecurity on our roads recently is scary,” she said.
“Despite the level of insecurity in the country, I spent two days on the road; there were multiple stops at checkpoints. Now, they are telling us we cannot register.”
Speaking with FIJ, another PCM from the University of Ibadan who craved anonymity, said the news from the camp authorities had dampened his spirit and he could not believe that after traveling down to Cross River from Ibadan, he was denied the opportunity to participate in the ongoing Batch C orientation course.
“It is frustrating that as at now, I have not been cleared to participate in the orientation course here in Cross River State,” he told FIJ.
In the same regard, FIJ also spoke with PCMs who travelled from Lagos, Ogbomoso and Port-Harcourt. They expressed their unhappiness that after travelling from different locations to their various camps expecting to the registered, they were told about an unresolved problem.
“I cannot adequately express the frustration we are facing here. We knew nothing about the arrangement between our schools and the NYSC. All we know is that we were duly mobilised by NYSC through our various call-up letters.
“As far as I know, all of us here have perfected our documentations and our credentials are fine. It is, therefore, surprising to know that we are being advised to go back to our schools to fix the problem we did not create,” another PCM narrated to FIJ.
Abeeb, another PCM, is confused about what to do. He told FIJ that he’s from Osun State, posted to Akwa Ibom and considering the distance, he doesn’t know which option to explore at the moment.
“I came to Akwa Ibom State from Osun State and I never imagined I would face this situation. Sincerely speaking, I don’t know what to do. I hope they will have mercy on us and allow us register,” he told FIJ.
THE NEWS THAT DAMPENED PCMS’ SPIRIT
According to the PCMs who spoke with FIJ, their respective camp managements informed them that their rejection at the camps was caused by their different institutions.
“We were told that our schools are responsible for why we are stuck at the camp,” said one, who asked not to be named.
“The camp official who addressed us said there are some errors on our data from our schools which do correspond with the information on NYSC database.
“They said the instruction NYSC gave all the schools since January 2022 was that they should change the format of graduation date to DD/MM/YYY from MM/YYY.
“In the case of UI, they failed to comply during Batch A, Streams 1 and 2. But their students were permitted to register after the school apologised and promised to comply later.
“Batch B mobilization came and UI still enjoyed a pardon for their students without following the NYSC instruction.
“Owing to their consistent failure to comply with instruction, all of us in Batch C are now the ones suffering from their neglect. The NYSC has insisted that we won’t be attended until UI complies.”
It was gathered that there were discrepancies between the PCMs’ information released from their institutions and the NYSC directive to the corps producing institutions (CPIs).
In a circular dated November 7 and obtained by FIJ, NYSC informed all institutions that were yet to comply with its earlier resolution on “the harmonization of the uploaded dates of graduation and the nomenclature in courses of study with the data on call-up letters”.
As a measure against the non-compliance, the NYSC headquarters told its state coordinators “to advise all PCMs awaiting registration to go back to their institutions to rectify their respective challenges”.
Emails and text messages sent to the institutions and NYSC have not been responded to at press time.