Abdulrazaq O Hamzat
‘’ Last week, my mum who had developed some sickness during my service year requires an urgent medical attention, but I was unable to take her to the hospital because I had no money. I am the first born of my family and my younger once are still in school, The NYSC is still holding my 6 months allowances after 3 months of my service. My mum later died due to lack of medical attention. It was the NYSC that killed my mum, because if they had released my allowances, I would have used it to take care of her.’’
The Youth Corp member said to me, the NYSC has finally killed my mum and I would stop at nothing to get justice.
Narrating what happened in tears, he said, My name is Tunde Jibril Salau, a Batch A National Youth Service Corps member who served in government day secondary school, Offa with state Code KW/12A/2518 between 2012/2013. I am presently owed NYSC allowances for the months of April 2012, May 2012, June 2012, August 2012, January 2013 and another half payment for my one month extension in March 2013 which in total is N108,900.00.
Explaining the genesis of the issue, he said, I relocated from Cross River State due to my health status and I reported immediately after the 3 weeks camp to Ilorin in Kwara State to fill all necessary documents in the state secretariat. I got my posting on 26th of April 2012 after waiting for more than three weeks of regular visit to the secretariat on the ground that their system was bad, and in fact, all the money I brought from home was totally exhausted on the frequent and regular transportation to the NYSC secretariat over the 3 weeks.
I reported to my first place of primary assignment (PPA) in Government Day Secondary School Ipee on Friday 28th of April 2012 and was rejected. According to them, they don’t need the service of a corps member that studied accounting, but someone that studied English Language
After being rejected, Tunde Salau said, I reported back to Ilorin the following Monday and I was asked to go to Ilemona but I will have to come back on the third day to get my new ID CARD. On the day I got my Identity card, I reported to ilemona and on getting to there, there was nobody in the NYSC office and I was made to understand that, they don’t usually come to the office on a daily basis that I should come back on Tuesday or Thursday.
I eventually met the NYSC staff in charge some days later, who demanded that I should pay for a file which was opened for me and my data’s collected. They asked me to go round Oyun local government myself to get a PPA that the NYSC can’t provide for me. I have to rush down to Ilorin to further borrow money that will enhance my traveling from one village to the other in search of a PPA in a place that I don’t know.
After the first week of my search without any luck, I reported back to them and I was told to go to Offa if I can get any school and on getting to Offa, the only School that accepted me said they would neither accommodate nor pay the allowance stipulated in the letter and due to time constraint, I have to accept the offer since I have no choice.
Tunde Salau further explained what happened while working in Ilemono and how the NYSC owed him the amount mentioned above.
He explained that, I started working with my employer in the last week of May 2012 and before I got my reposting letter from the NYSC office in Ilemona, I informed the NYSC LI that I have not been paid for April and May allowances and they assured me of getting it, that NYSC doesn’t owe anyone.
The week I came for my first CDS in the month of June, I was informed that they have signed the clearance for the month of June, but I wasn’t informed about any clearance by anyone because I am the only corpers in Government day senior secondary school Offa who knew himself.
I complained bitterly to the LI, asking her how she thinks I could survive without been paid my allowances since I have no accommodation in Offa where I am serving that I had to be transporting myself from Ilorin to Offa on a daily basis, but she assured me that I will be properly informed in the coming months, I dropped the clearance letter that I collected from my employer for the months of May and June and I left. Before I left the office, she made me realise that there was no way i could even do the clearance for the month of June because I do not have an account with ECOBANK that I will have to open one.
In the month of August, I received a text message on Wednesday evening that there will be clearance on Thursday and Friday, but the school were on holiday. On Thursday, I quickly went to Offa and after I was able to locate my principal’s resident since they are on holiday, I was told she went for a meeting in Ilorin and I waited, but as it was getting late, I had to return to Ilorin.
I went back to Offa on Friday and meet my principal who gave me the clearance around 1 pm on Friday and before 1:30 pm I have gotten to Ilemona, on getting to Ilemona, there was no NYSC staff on ground to attend to me, then our CLO told me to go to Offa that I will meet them there. I quickly boarded another bike to Offa and I got to Offa secretariat around 1:45pm, only for Mr Seyi, the NYSC staff to tell me that they have closed that I will have to meet One Mr Owolabi another NYSC staff on Monday in Ilorin.
I met Mr Owolabi on Monday and explained the situation to him, he told me to write an application to that effect. I wrote an application for the month of august along with the other months yet unpaid, but it was a surprise that the same LI, who has always calm and assured me of getting my money to change and start pretending as if she doesn’t know i am being owed the 3 previous months.
She queried me and I answered the query immediately, when she read through my respond to the query, she asked me if I wanted to put her in trouble for answering the query that way, she told me that I should be very brief and told me to remove some lines and even assured me that I will be given all my money.
Two months later, I approached her again; she still continued assuring me, not until I was called from Ilorin by the NYSC disciplinary committee.
After much interrogation by the disciplinary committee, I was told that my inability to sign the August allowance was my Negligence. i was told I will be informed about the outcome of the CDC as soon as possible and I was not informed until the day of our passing out that it discovered that i will be going on a 1 month extension with half payment for not signing my August allowance, error due to the negligence of the NYSC staffs.
Now, I have completed the one month extension and when I asked them for all my 6 month unpaid allowances, they said they can only pay me for two months even including the January that I dully signed for, but was not paid.
When I approached the account officer in the NYSC secretariat, he said they mistakenly omitted the page where my name is and they showed me the page that was omitted since February and up till date, I have not been paid. I called the account officer in late March 2013 again to remind him and he was asking me who gave me his number. He ended the call and ask me never to call him again.
I don’t know the account officers name but his phone number is 08035618116.
Tunde Salau bitterly said, I have served this country diligently under the rain and in the sun for thirteen good months despite my health condition; in fact I mostly go to classes on empty stomach and occasionally walk from Offa to Ilemona on CDS days during my service year in those months that I was not paid. This has really affected my health and caused several damages in my body system.
While I was taking my tuberculosis treatment, I was warned by my doctor to desist from eating dry food and must always take balance diet. I started walking a very long distance, eating garri contrary to the advice of my doctor due to the fact that I was not paid my allowances and all I could get for being patriotic is one month extension for the negligence of the NYSC staff and unpaid 6 month allowances.
I have completed my 1 month extension since March,2013, but till date, 16th of May, 2013, I have not received my six month allowances from the NYSC.
I have written the State Coordinator and other departments of the NYSC, but nothing was heard from any of them till date.
Last week, my mum who had developed some sickness during my service year requires an urgent medical attention, but I was unable to take her to the hospital because I had no money. I am the first born of my family and my younger once are still in school, The NYSC is still holding my 6 months allowances after 3 months of my service. My mum later died due to lack of medical attention. It was the NYSC that killed my mum, if they had released my allowances, I would have used it to take care of her.
With these actions, it is assumed that we have been made to realise that in Nigeria, we will always be punished for being at the right side of the law but I promise, the attitude of the NYSC would never make me deviate from always doing the right thing in other to move this country of ours forward.
The damage caused by NYSC is getting unbearable for me because i have tolerated them enough and i don’t know what my next action would be
It is worth to note that, the narration of Tunde Salau is one out of the countless occurrences of such ugly situation at NYSC. Besides Tunde Salau, I have equally meet others who had similar experience, though less severe. Countless youth Corp members usually depart their state of service without being paid their allowances.
Why would a corps member who served his fatherland diligently be treated in such manner? Who is benefiting from all these unpaid allowances? A question the NYSC must answer. I urge all well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of this young patriotic Nigerian. Tunde Salau can be reached on 08026102285