By Udo Akam-Alo, ABAKALIKI
A former National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Corps member, Mr. Ume Ado Ndubuisi, EB/18C/0730, has the raised alarm over what he described as a deliberate attempt by some officials of NYSC and state government to deny him the benefits accruable to the Awards given to him by both State and Federal Governments during his service year.
Prompt News reports that Ume Ndubuisi, initiated and carried out the reconstruction of five (5) Open Market Stalls at Orie Market, Nguzu Edda Community and trained 10 youths of the community in various empowerment skills while serving at Afikpo-South Local Government Council Headquarters, Ebonyi State.
He was issued a State Honours Award Certificate for outstanding performance and contribution to the development of the State by Governor David Umahi on 11th October, 2019 while the then State Coordinator of NYSC, Mrs. Ngozi Ibe nominated him and two others, Riches Bagiri, and Adetona Rebecca for a Presidential Honours Award in Abuja.
Speaking with Newsmen in Abakaliki, Ex-Corper Ndubuisi who worked in Uburu Community, hometown of the Governor for four months as a Supervisor in Uburu Industrial Cluster after his service year lamented how all the benefits accruable to the Awards had been denied him for over two years, despite his contributions to the development of the State and the country at large.
He called on Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim Kazaure, Minister of Youths and Sports, Hon. Sunday Dare, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu representing Abia North Senatorial district and Hon. Uko Nkole representing Ohafia/Arochukwu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives to intervene in the matter.
According to Ndubuisi, if the empowerment we hear about in the State and Federal Governments is real, am wondering why I will spend money to rebuild 5 open stores and train 10 youths in the community where I served and the benefits of the Award I was nominated for or given will be denied me for almost two years.
“While serving, I was carrying blocks, using my savings and charity from here and there to positively affect the community I served only to be schemed out of the benefits accruable to me. If youths work hard and they are not supported how will they stand. We were 110 nominated for the Presidential Honours Award from different states by NYSC. The Award was given out about two weeks ago and nobody contacted me. I was left out despite being on the merit list.
“The state honours award certificate endorsed by the Governor of Ebonyi State in my name was hidden, perforated while the perpetrators filed the original copy before I discovered by Providence. I am yet to receive any benefit of that Award in Ebonyi State. When I eventually received this endorsed, perforated certificate after six months, I lodged complaints through the Chairman NYSC Governing Board Ebonyi State, Mr. Charles Akpuenika, yet nothing was done.
“I was projected for Presidential Honours Awards. A delegate from the NYSC, Abuja Headquarters was sent to the community I served to verify the project. As it stands, am the only Corp member whose personal project appeared on Ebonyi NYSC magazine 2018/2019, page 24. The most shocking part of my pain was the last 2 weeks presidential honours award ceremony that took place in Abuja. 110 ex-corps members were projected to be honoured, which was my set, 2018/2019.
“The Ex-Corps members were given automatic Federal Government employment award, with free scholarship award up to Doctorate degree programme in any school of their choice in Nigeria, with cash award. In these 110 awardees, I have waited patiently for the names of these beneficiaries to be released in NYSC Data base online of which I was nominated and projected.
“I want to appreciate Governor David Umahi for all the love he showed to me during my service year. I have made efforts to see him but no way. I want to use this medium to bring to his notice that all the benefits accruable to the Award he endorsed since 11th October, 2019 have not gotten to me. The people working for the Governor are the ones sabotaging his good intentions for Ebonyi people.
“I call on all meaningful Nigerians to intervene in this matter. How can future Corps members be encouraged to carry out any good work in their places of primary assignment, if those who contributed their quota are being neglected. What I did remain visible and indelible in Nguzu Edda in Afikpo-South LGA of Ebonyi State. I did it because I love the people. They were so nice to me and I had to give back to the society. And if I was rewarded for my efforts, the reward should come to me and not to another person. I want justice to be served.”
Commenting on the involvement of the State Government in the issuance Award to Corps members, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Hon. Charles Akpuenika who praised Governor Umahi for his contributions towards progress and development of the NYSC in the State emphasized that it is at the discretion of the Chief Executive to give approval for accruable benefits attached to any award endorsed by the State Government.
“The Governor does make further approval in terms of monetary benefits depending on how he wants it. He has made such approval before. However, what is most important is the Merit Award Certificate signed by him on behalf of the benefiting corps members.
“The Governor oftentimes takes special interest in corps members serving in the State to the extent that he releases allowances to them. He has been doing that. He does so solely at his own discretion, if not people may begin to abuse it. The Governor’s signature on your merit award that is very important.”