An Open Letter To His Excellency, The President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) By Humphery Okechukwu Eze.
* Office of the NYSC Director-General
* Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD)
* The Office of Accountant General of the Federation of Nigeria
* House of Rep and Senate
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Muhammadu Buhari, the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Non-Payment Of Minimum Wage Adjustment Arrears To Corps Members Who Served Between 2019 And 2020.
Dear Mr. President,
I am one of the people who believe that the worthiness of life is deep-rooted in the service of mankind, and I am convinced that this should be the practice of every leader of our dear country, Nigeria, for excellence in leadership.
This letter is born out of my ardent concern for the youths and numerous graduates of our beloved country, Nigeria. Your Excellency, I write to you with a deep sense of passion, pure patriotism and good intent for Nigeria.
As the days go by, we draw closer to the end of your administration. Nigerian youths will remember you for your strong will in governance, notable reforms across sectors, infrastructure, human and resources development. But Sir, there is something that you need to fix before you leave office, and that is paying arrears of corps members allowances.
I have had the opportunity to speak with some of them and I must confess that about 80% of our graduates have lost hope in this country. I am not interested, however, in finding out during which administration the loss of interest began, but rather in knowing the effort your administration has put in place toward addressing this issue.
For the purpose of clarity, Mr President, the Nigerian graduates who underwent the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme between 2019 and 2020 are still being owed their minimum wage adjustment arrears without a word from anyone about paying them.
Mr President, as a patriotic citizen of our dear country, I am concerned over the nonpayment of the ex-Corps members’ arrears.
Your excellency, I wish to bring to your notice that thousands of corps members who served our dear country through the NYSC programme are still waiting and hoping for your government to pay their minimum wage adjustment arrears.
Most of these ex-Corps are still unemployed but hoping to start a small business when the arrears are paid, while some are anticipating the payment of the arrears just to sustain themselves whilst they continue the job hunting.
Mr President, Sir, I wish to remind you that you signed into law the Minimum Wage Repeal and Re-Enactment Act, 2019 on Thursday, 18th April 2019, thus changing the salary of workers from ₦18,000 to ₦30,000 and subsequently changing the NYSC allowance from ₦19,800 to ₦33,000. That shows you have the welfare of workers at heart, and I must commend you for your continuing dedication to excellence.
But, your excellency, when you signed the minimum wage into law on 18th April 2019, the implementation did not start immediately, as corps members in service during the period continued to receive ₦19,800 instead of ₦33,000, till on Friday, January 31, 2020, hence, the minimum wage adjustment arrears.
Mr President, the affected ex-Corps members who love you so much and voted massively for your re-election are not happy. They recalled that during the government of ex-president GoodLuck Ebele Jonathan in 2011, the then affected ex-Corps members were all paid the minimum wage adjustment arrears. This makes many to wonder what is holding our amiable President this time.
Meanwhile, every government workers including tertiary institutions’ lecturers and even non-academic staff, have all been paid the minimum wage adjustment arrears, except ex-Corps members that served between 2019 and 2020, who made a lot of sacrifices for the unity of our country.
Your excellency, I have read on the news sometime in February 2020 where the NYSC Director-General, General Shuaibu Ibrahim, explained that Corps members are not eligible for the arrears, because they are not Civil Servants but on National Service. But maybe he wasn’t aware that corps members received arrears during the administration of the ex-President Jonathan.
Jonathan signed the Minimum Wage Repeal and Re-Enactment Act, 2011 on March 16, 2011, thus changing the salary of workers from ₦7,500 to ₦18,000 and subsequently changing the NYSC allowance from ₦9,775 to ₦19,800.
After signing the bill in March, his administration started the payment on July 2011 and the 2010 Batch B Corps members that passed out on Thursday, 16th June 2011 were all paid in arrears for complete 4 months, beginning from March, April, May and June 2011. With the payment, they all received a total of ₦40,100 in arrears.
The 2018 Batch B Stream 1 and 2 are eligible to be paid in arrears, including the 2018 Batch C Stream 1 and 2, 2019 Batch A, 2019 Batch B Stream 1 and 2, and 2019 Batch C Stream 1 and 2.
Your excellency, once again, I plead with you on behalf of affected ex-Corps members to pay their minimum wage adjustment arrears.
Humphery Okechukwu Eze is a writer, blogger, youth leader, social media influencer and investor. He can be reached via email@example.com
*This information was first published on nyscinfo.côm.