Following the spate of absenteeism from place of primary assignment, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has deployed a biometric data capturing technology that will aid in the nationwide conduct of weekly and monthly check on ghost corps members.
According to the Director-General of the corps, Brig.-Gen. Johnson Olawumi, during the inauguration and practical demonstration of the programme at the Kuje Area Council, Abuja, the biometric technology will also make provision for corps members who may genuinely fall sick or have reasons to be away from their areas of assignments during the course of the service year.
He said; “It is going to make sure that corps members stay in their places of primary assignment. It will reduce the rate at which they travel.
“It will help the core employers to benefit from the services of these corps members maximally because they will now remain in their places of primary assignment.
“We have policies in the scheme that guide absence from places of primary assignment. For example – there are certain number of times a corps member can be absent and such a corps member – in punishment – the service will be extended.
“We are not doing this in isolation it is in line with the policies of the scheme. It is going to bring transparency and accountability into the way we do things.
“My staff, who have been conniving with corps members in the past will not be able to do that anymore because unless such a corps members cuts the thumb and gives to anybody to thumb print for him.“
The DG said that six members of staff were presently facing possible dismissal from the scheme after being caught engaging and conniving with corps members to leave their places of primary assignment.
Olawumi further revealed that the biometrics would first be deployed for use this September in Lagos and Abuja.
“This exercise will start this September with corps members of batch C 2014 who will be passing out soon and batch A 2015 and it is going to start this September in Lagos state and the entire FCT.
“Batch B 2015, those who will be in Lagos and FCT this biometrics will be applied for them throughout their service year. By next year we will try to extend it to all the other states in the federation.
“The demonstration, which we are witnessing today, is part of the second phase of the computerisation process of the operations of the NYSC scheme for the purpose of enhancing our overall performance.
“Let me also allay the fears of some corps members we are going to make it very user friendly.
“We are going to do it in such a way that it will not impose additional or inconvenience on you than what you face presently,“ he concluded.