IN reactions to a recent suit against the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) over an alleged mobilisation fee fraud, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CCSG) has declared that the scheme’s online registration platform is serving the purpose.
It stated that, so far, the platform had extended the scheme’s deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) beyond just providing corps members with their call up information.
While addressing newsmen in Abuja, on Thursday, the group’s national president, Bassey Williams Etuk, said the group had to commend the scheme after its assessment of the programme after some months of its introduction and in the face of condemnation from some quarters.
An Advocacy group, under the aegis of Citizens Advocacy Initiative for Accountable Leadership (CAIFAL), had recently dragged the NYSC, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos over alleged mobilisation fraud.
Respondents in the suit were Director-General of NYSC, Sidmach Technologies Ltd, Minister of Youths and Sports and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
The group, in the suit, asked the court to declare that by virtue of the provisions of the NYSC Act 1993, the first to third respondents had no statutory rights to demand a pre-mobilisation fee from prospective corps members.
Bassey, who stated that the CCSG had made it a point of duty to access the effectiveness of the e-platform noted that it had achieved the essence of its establishment.
He said: “Paying to process call-up letters online is totally optional. It is not compulsory. NYSC made it optional because of the realisation that not every corps member will need or can afford it and the merits outweigh any other disadvantage.”
Fielding questions from newsmen on its involvement in the whole process, Bassey said CSOs as stakeholders were involved in the introduction of the e-mobilisation when parents, members of the civil society groups, members of student bodies, and people from the universities who were not members of NANS were brought in to deliberate on the effectiveness of the platform.
“What we stood against then was the N4,000 price tag placed on it and we instantly pressured that it should be reduced to N3,000 which was agreed upon.
“We want to say categorically that the issue of e-mobilisation, as far as we are concerned, is one of the best things that happened to the scheme. And we will also use this opportunity to applaud the handlers, Sidmach for it expertise.
“We want to still condemn the action of some groups who are not properly briefed on the issue of the online that they should desist from any distractions and should seek for clarification before embarking on any action against the scheme,” he said.