National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) has denied that Corps members will pay to serve their country, after controversy trailed the introduction of paid online registration.
While acknowledging the sacrifice of Corps members to the unity and development of Nigeria, the government agency noted that online registration would cut intending Corps members’ burden of travelling over long distances to pick up their call-up letters from their various institutions.
“Paying N4000 to process call-up letters online is a choice for those who prefer that option. It is not a condition for national service. So, no one is being asked to pay to serve, as those who do not pay will also undertake their national service without any form of discrimination or sanction,” NYSC says.
The agency also noted that online registration is optional as prospective Corps members can still go to their schools to pick up their call-up letters as online registration is just an alternative.
“NYSC has not abolished the practice of prospective Corps members going to their schools to pick call-up letters. That is still allowed. What has happened is that an extra option has been introduced, which prospective Corps members may choose or may not choose to exercise”, the agency said in a statement in the wake of controversy stirred by the introduction the paid online registration option.
NYSC explained further that the N4000 is not just for printing call-up letters. It is for the entire package of online registration, which requires the deployment of IT hardware and software and personnel to orientation camps all over the country but which also gives those who subscribe to it the advantage of processing their registration online.
It adds that the option saves time during registration at the orientation camps and allows them to use their thumbprint to identify themselves if they lose or are dispossessed of their call-up letters.