The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, has said that the Commission will prosecute any Vice Chancellor that is involved in sending unqualified candidates for the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
Owasanoye, in response to a request from the Director General of NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, on the menace of fake NYSC members, during a courtesy visit to the Commission in Abuja, said that ICPC will act promptly, once a report of illegal mobilization of unqualified candidates for the programme by a Vice Chancellor was received.
He said: “We are ready to prosecute any university Vice Chancellor who mobilizes those that should not go for the scheme if you send them to us.”
The Chairman while lamenting the menace of corruption, urged NYSC to enhance the skill acquisition training being offered to corps members by advocating a skills-based tertiary education curriculum that would prepare youths to become employers of labour instead of depending on government to create jobs.
He also said that NYSC stood a better chance in helping the youth in the fight against corruption because the scheme provided the first point of contact with real-life situations for corps members after school.
According to him: “We can kill patterns that lead to corruption where necessary. Many young people think there is a short cut to success, that once you are out there, you just hit millions. That is not the case, there should be a gestation period. NYSC should create a platform to provoke positive consciousness, the activism to challenge things when they go wrong.”
The ICPC boss urged NYSC to create awareness on anti-corruption by enlisting the corps members into the social media platforms of ICPC, adding that it would help them to become anti-corruption stakeholders in their local communities.
The Director General, earlier in his address, noted that collaboration with ICPC which began in 2003, through the ICPC/NYSC Anti-Corruption Vanguard had yielded fruitful results.
Brigadier General Ibrahim said he was confident that the Commission would help deal with the challenges of mobilizing unqualified candidates for NYSC by Vice Chancellors.
He requested for the re-inauguration of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) in NYSC, saying that old members had either retired or been promoted above the schedule.
ICPC Chairman welcomed his request saying that ACTU would be inaugurated as soon as all the formalities were done with.