A member of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Comrade, Matthew Zakka has explained why the Federal Government (FG) should pay Corps members minimum wage arrears.
Recall that President Muhammedu Buhari signed new minimum wage into law on 18th April, 2019. But this was not immediately implemented, so there is an accumulation of about N12,000 per month for each NYSC member, starting from April to December, 2019.
Therefore, Corps members who are in active service from from April to December, 2019 are entitled to receive up to N108,000 as arrears; (33,000 – 19,800) × 9.
Unfortunately, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in two separate occasions on its official Facebook page suggested that there is no arrears for Corps members.
Reacting on this, Zikka said “any attempt not to pay Corp members their arrears would hugely dent his (Buhari’s) war on corruption and ridiculed his acclaimed Integrity”. He also dismissed as pointless the NYSC DG’s statement that there is no arrears for Corps members, said it cannot stand critical analysis.
Below is what Zikka wrote on Social media as obtained by Nyscinfo correspondent
The President Muhammadu Buhari led administration which came to power on the heels of fighting corruption must not sweep the idea of paying Corp members their arrears under the carpet.
This is especially so when one considers the fact that he was voted into power on the grounds that he will fight Corruption to a standstill.
Any attempt not to pay Corp members their arrears would hugely dent his war on corruption and ridiculed his acclaimed “Integrity”.
Worst still, it will be a gigantic disservice to the great youths of this country (Nigeria) who had “under the rain and in the sun with dedication and selflessness” give in their all for the progressive and development of this Country.
The idea of saying Corp members are not civil servants or on a National service and as such not entitled to the arrears does not hold water and cannot stand critical analysis.
Reflect on the following:
Recall that in 2011 under the leadership of Dr. Good luck Ebele Jonathan when there was an increment of Corp members monthly allowance from N9,775 to N19,800. Brig. General Maharazu Tsiga made the announcement of the increment from N9,775 to N19,800 and arrears were paid to those who were in active service and to those who had passed out.
Kindly inquire from those who served from 2010, 2011 and 2012 or simply Google Search to clear your doubt and set the record straight.
This had been the laid down procedure and acceptable tradition.Nonetheless, one wonder why there will be a paradigm shift now? Or why Corp members should not be paid arrears?
If the Federal government under Dr. Good luck Jonathan should pay arrears, I see no reason why this government should not pay.
If GEJ should pay arrears I see no better explanation why we shouldn’t be paid on the grounds that we are not civil servants.
Those Corp members who were paid during GEJ administration why were they not denied on the grounds that they were not civil servants or on a national service? why now? Or is there something that we need to be told?
Even the the NYSC Boss Brig. Gen.Shauibu Ibrahim in an interview with Daily trust was quoted as saying: “Wherever I go, the Corps members keep asking, This 19k (19,000), when will it go? But I keep explaining to them that it is tied to the minimum wage and a little fraction on the minimum wage”
He went further to say: “I can assure you if you scrap NYSC, there is nothing to replace it. Mr. President recently said the NYSC, the military and the police remain the only institutions that unite the country”
However, the military, police and other parastatals have been paid their arrears as directed by the Minister of finance Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed.
More so, even the President openly admits that we (NYSC) are an institution just like the military and police that aid in uniting the country. Funny enough, we are now told that we are not “civil servants”.
Even the NYSC DG knows that the new minimum wage comes with arrears as seen above. In view of the foregoing, common knowledge demands that the minimum wage bill which was signed into law April of 2019 and which only took effect on the part of the NYSC on January of 2020,there is no gainsaying that arrears ought to be paid.
On 10 of February 2020, Minister of labour and employment, Mr. Chris Ngige, was quoted as saying :”Nigerian youths should invest their time in creating jobs rather than depending on the government for jobs.”
Indirectly he was saying we (FG) have no jobs for the youths. The federal government ought to know that the payment of the arrears will go a long way in the lives of the youths and will be used as a start up capital which will aid in embarking on a Small scale business by the youths rather than depending on the government for jobs.
We wholeheartedly appluad the Federal government over the increment of Corp members monthly allowance from N19,800 to N33,000. However we urge the Federal government to look into the issue of the payment of arrears.
All we are after is justice. I call on all those who are for and against the payment of the arrears to reflect on the moving and powerful words of Martin Luther King Jr which says: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
God bless All Nigeria Youths.
COMR. Matthew Zakka
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