Kemi Adeosun Resignation And NYSC Certificate Saga: The Inevitability Of certificate Verification Commission - Luqman Soliu (RIFA President)
KEMI ADEOSUN RESIGNATION AND NYSC CERTIFICATE SAGA-THE INEVITABILITY OF CERTIFICATE VERIFICATION COMMISSION

On Friday 14th September, 2018, Nigerians received the news of resignation of Mrs Kemi Adeosun as the country finance Minister. The resignation was not unconnected with revelation about her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate.

The NYSC certificate saga came shortly after she submitted proposal, which was later approved by the Federal Executive Council, for temporary assets forfeiture of corrupt civil servants and politicians under investigation. In her letter of resignation, she claimed to have engaged some people to procure NYSC certificate for her which has been the duty of some people in that area.

However, her innocence of receiving fake NYSC certificate without any informant could not save her from the certificate mess. The Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) received the news like other Nigerians and is of opinion that there should be a Commission for verification of certificates anyone presented for public office before such person takes the appointment or is elected.

The Commission should also be provided with a website wherein all schools, colleges of Education, Polytechnics, Monotechnics, Universities, examination bodies and professional institutes would be linked for easy identification of issued certificates. The NYSC and other bodies issuing certificates to the members of the public should also be linked to the Commission website and have a space for confirmation or verification of various certificates presented for employment, election or appointment.

In her letter of resignation available for our perusal, we noted that Mrs Kemi Adeosun indicated that she was oblivious of the fake certificate given to her by those she engaged and trusted to procure it for her. How could someone not working with NYSC have understood a fake certificate? Her case was just one in the certificate or licence forgery ridicule Nigerians are made to suffer.

Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), and some other agencies such as Nigeria Immigration Service do claim, in some situations, that drivers licence, insurance certificates and vehicle particulars presented by drivers and owners are fake. But how would Nigerians know the genuine document. There is urgent need for regular enlightenment on this. Besides, the activities of unscrupulous elements in some agencies making quick money through forged documents should be checked.

In 2010, NYSC declared some certificates templates missing in his safe. It is urgent that the missing certificates templates should be disclosed to the public for other Nigerians to confirm their NYSC certificates. Besides, RIFA understand the NYSC has ‘verify certificate’ caption on its website but there is need for improved enlightenment for members of the public to take advantage of it. Similarly, there should be an effective medium on the website where certificate(s) found to be questionable could be reported and action taken by the agency without the knowledge of the quack concerned.

As Mrs Adeosun has honourably resigned her appointment, those accused of forgery including house rules and other certificates should emulate her while the quacks in procurement of the certificate for her should be investigated and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others. Besides, Nigerian citizens and other nationals may lose confidence in the genuine business of consultants and even agencies awarding various documents for public usage if prompt and strict action is not taken to rectify the embarrassing situation.

Mrs kemi Adeosun case is just one among Nigerians served with fake documents, the National Assembly in conjunction with the executive arm should, therefore, expedite action on the establishment of a body to be in charge of certificate verification in Nigeria before the global community bounce on us in their countries.

Luqman Soliu
President,
Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA)

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