The National Youth Service Corps Foundation is searching for about 75 corps members who took between N300,000 and N400,000 loans to start small businesses but refused to pay after about four years. The defaulting corps members, who have now passed out, used their certificates as collateral, which was the only condition to access the loans.
Our correspondent learnt the corps members had abandoned their certificates with the foundation for almost four years. Orientation campThe NYSC Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Bako Ventim, confirmed this in an exclusive interview on Monday during the opening of Skills’ Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development workshop at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Kubwa, Abuja.
The foundation was in the camp to donate 10 sewing machines to the camp for SAED training. The director said, “We have been providing loans to corps members and our interest rate is one digit. There is no collateral except the NYSC certificate and two guarantors. We make the conditions very flexible so that the corps members can benefit from these loans.
“We have a challenge where corps members have refused to pay back the loans. We have over 100 corps members who took the loans but some of them have not paid back and we still have their NYSC certificates with us. They have not come to claim these certificates for a number of years.
“We give as much as between N300,000 and N400,000 depending on the business proposals. From the records, we have over 75 corps members that have defaulted and we are pursuing them.”
Meanwhile, the NYSC medical corps in Borno State on Monday protested non-payment of allowances promised by the state government. The Batch B NYSC members, who gathered at the Borno State Government House in Maiduguri, told journalists they had not been paid for four months.
One of them, Cornelius Azi, said, “Often times, we work extra hours due to shortage of medical personnel in the state health facilities. We have explored all alternative ways of dispute resolution but they haven’t yielded results. We appeal to the government to honour its promise.”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Alhaji Mustapha Alau, who later addressed journalists, said the governor had already directed the ministry of finance to pay the corps members.