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Nobody can game our ICT system, NYSC refutes certificate racketeering claim

Megwa added that ICT is evolving the world over, and organisations have continued to improve on the established ICT base to ensure that hackers do not get in.

National Youth Service Corps [NYSC]

Megwa was reacting to the report of an investigation into certificate racketeering titled “How Daily Nigerian Reporter Bagged Cotonou Varsity Degree in Six Weeks, Participated in NYSC Scheme.”

According to the report, there is a booming certificate racketeering syndicate in Benin Republic and Togo which specialises in selling university degrees to willing buyers from Nigeria.

The report also detailed how to access the NYSC platform and register for mobilisation for the one-year national service.

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Responding, Megwa said that the investigator, who had served in 2018, could only register on the NYSC platform using a phone number and email that had not been used before on the platform.

He added that “the system put in place by the scheme, though still evolving, is foolproof.

“Our system is foolproof unless you want to go through criminal way, and of course, once you are caught, you go for it.

“The investigator inputted the email and the phone number he used in serving before and the system flagged it, which means there is a check in place.

“He owned up in his report that NYSC is foolproof and that he (the investigator) had to go beyond the ordinary to get through the point he went through.

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“So, as it is, our system is evolving and we are putting things in place; we are up and doing and doing our best.

“The young man (investigator) confessed that in all the procedures he went through until the last beat, NYSC was the most difficult and we are making it even more difficult for any infiltrator to get into our system.”

Megwa added that ICT is evolving the world over, and organisations have continued to improve on the established ICT base to ensure that hackers do not get in.

On the issue of fake certificates being presented for mobilisation, he said “it is not the responsibility of the scheme to verify certificates, as it is not supposed to doubt the integrity of an institution’s senate.”

He, however, said that for foreign graduates, the scheme carries out tests for them before they are allowed to serve.

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He added “We have been carrying out checks on foreign universities before now, even with our local universities; we have been doing that.

“NYSC does not doubt the integrity of the senate of an institution; our business is to certify students worthy in character and in learning and once a list is given to us, we mobilise.”

He cited an instance of how a former director-general of the scheme interacted with a youth corps member and discovered that the member had not attended any higher institution.

Megwa said that the system had been sanitised and officers in affected institutions that were doing the racketeering were expelled from the schools.

He, however, said that the scheme subjects prospective youth corps members from foreign universities to test “because of the things happening, as some graduates cannot write a single sentence in English.”

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In a related development, to strengthen the online registration process for the scheme, beginning in 2024, eligible prospective youth corps members will be required to register for mobilisation with the National Identification Numbers (NIN).

The decision was part of deliberations during the collaborative meeting by the NYSC and the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC).

During the meeting, the Director-General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Yu’shau Ahmed said that the collaboration would strengthen the online registration process.

Also, the Director-General of NIMC, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, pledged the commission’s readiness to collaborate with the scheme.

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