The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, says ICT driven initiatives introduced by the scheme in the last few years in a bid to clamp down on corrupt practices has been yielding results.
Suleiman Kazaure, the NYSC Director-General, made this known in Abuja on Monday at the opening ceremony of a Leadership and Anti-corruption Sensitisation Workshop at the NYSC Headquarters.
The workshop is organised by the scheme in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Abuja Civic Leadership Centre, ACLC.
Mr Kazaure, a major-general, said that driven by the organisation’s zero tolerance for corruption, the bio-metric clearance system for corps members introduced by the scheme had eliminated any chance of compromise by officials.
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He said that the system had also eliminated loopholes which allowed corps members to absent themselves or abscond from the service.
The director-general said that registration of prospective corps members by proxy at orientation camps had stopped due to the introduction of ICT driven initiative.
“Driven by our zero tolerance for corruption, the scheme has in recent years evolved internal mechanism for promoting transparency in the conduct of our operations.
“The scheme’s bio-metric clearance system now ensures only deserving corps members receive monthly and other statutory allowances.
“Management has also deployed ICT solutions to make our mobilisation process seamless and prevent mobilisation of unqualified persons.
“Recent innovations by the scheme also include an application that will enable registrars of corps producing institutions to verify the data uploaded by their students’ Affairs Officers thereby eliminating sharp practices.
“The self-posting procedure introduced by the scheme which gives prospective corps member a choice from four states option has reduced the pressure from the general public seeking preferential deployment for their children and wards,’’ Mr Kazaure said.
He said the sensitisation workshop was organised to educate NYSC officers who would not only imbibe good leadership qualities but help to enthrone a culture of transparency and accountability for the scheme at all levels.
He said that with the present administration’s stand against corruption, the scheme had made effort and continued to strive to sustain a tradition of transparency in governance.
The Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in his key note address decried the increasing rate of youth involvement in cyber and financial crimes just to earn money and live on the fast lane.
Mr Magu, represented by Osita Nwaja, the EFCC Head of Public Affairs, said that presently, the demographic of advance fee and internet fraud suspects comprised mostly of young people from the ages of 18 to 30.
The chairman said that most of these suspects were undergraduates operating from campuses of tertiary institutions across the country.
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“The question we must ask is why are young people attracted to financial crimes? Many consider recourse to Advance Fee Fraud and internet fraud as an escape from poverty.
“With the high rate of unemployment among the youth especially graduates of the nation’s tertiary institutions, financial crimes especially advance fee fraud and cybercrimes have become avenues to earn a living by young people.
“Once we were a people that valued hard work, once we were a country with strong moral pedigree where adherents of all the religions frowned against covetousness, stealing and other vices,” Mr Magu said.
He said that the commission would continue to aggressively pursue the objective of public sensitisation and re-orientation in the fight against corruption.
Mr Magu said that he, however, remained sceptical that these efforts were sufficient to completely address the challenge of misplaced values in Nigeria.
The workshop was organised to sensitise NYSC staff on leadership and anti-corruption issues as the organisation remained at the forefront of Nigeria’s anti-corruption crusade.