Fake NYSC Certificate? Finance Minister Resigns, Opens Up— But A Key Detail Ruins Her Narrative

It has been several months of intrigues after it came into the limelight that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate that the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, presented was fake.

The whole episode came to an end yesterday when Adeosun finally resigned from the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari, as confirmed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who said the President thanked the outgoing minister for her services to the country and wished her well in her future pursuits.

The statement added that the President also approved that the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, should oversee the Ministry of Finance with effect from yesterday.

The Minister of State, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who is one of those being touted as her possible successor by the power brokers, visited Adeosun in the office, possibly for briefing, and stayed long till around 6:00pm before departing.

It has been a truly rewarding experience to learn from you and to observe at close quarters your integrity and sense of duty. 
 
“I have, today, become privy to the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the Certificate of Exemption from National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) that I had presented was not genuine.

This has come as a shock to me and I believe that in line with this administration’s focus on integrity, I must do the honourable thing and resign.
 
“Your Excellency, kindly permit me to outline some of the background to this matter.

I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, indeed my parental family home remains in London.

My visits to Nigeria up until the age of thirty-four (34) were holidays, with visas obtained in my UK passport.  

“I obtained my first Nigerian passport at the age of 34 and when I relocated there was debate as to whether NYSC Law applied to me. 

“Upon enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of thirty (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve. Until recent events, that remained my understanding. 
 
“On the basis of that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates, NYSC were approached for documentary proof of status.

I then received the certificate in question. 

Having never worked in NYSC, visited the premises, been privy to nor familiar with their operations, I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything, but genuine. 

“Indeed, I presented that certificate at the 2011 Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for Directorate of State Services (DSS) Clearance as well as to the National Assembly for screening.

“Be that as it may, as someone totally committed to a culture of probity and accountability, I have decided to resign with effect from Friday, September 14, 2018.

“Your Excellency, it has been an exceptional privilege to have served our nation under your leadership and to have played a role in steering our economy at a very challenging time.

“I am proud that Nigeria has brought discipline into its finances, has identified and is pursuing a path to long term sustainable growth that will unlock the potential in this great economy.

“Under your leadership, Nigeria was able to exit recession and has now started to lay the foundations for lasting growth and wealth creation. 

“Repositioning this huge economy is not a short term task and there are no short cuts, indeed there are tough decisions still to be made but I have no doubt that your focus on infrastructural investment, revenue mobilisation and value for money in public expenditure will deliver growth, wealth and opportunity for all Nigerians. 
 
“I thank His Excellency, the Vice President and my colleagues in the Federal Executive Council for the huge pleasure and honour of working with them. 

I also thank most specially, the team in the ‘Finance Family’ of advisers and heads of agencies under the Ministry of Finance.

“Your Excellency, this group of committed Nigerians represents a range of backgrounds, ethnicities and ages.

They have worked well above and beyond the call of duty to support me in the tasks assigned.

“The diversity in my team and their ability to work cohesively to deliver reforms convinces me that Nigeria has the human capital required to succeed.
 
“Your Excellency, let me conclude by commending your patience and support, during the long search for the truth in this matter.

“ I thank you again for giving me the honour of serving under your leadership, it is a rare privilege, which I do not take for granted. 

As a Nigerian and committed progressive, I appreciate you for your dogged commitment to improving this nation.
 
“Please be assured, as always, of my highest regards and best wishes.”

-Kemi Adeosun (Mrs.)

EDITOR’s note: Adeosun admitted to receiving the certificate from unnamed persons, which makes her liable to proseuction under Section 13(4) of the NYSC Act which provides:

Any person who (a) in giving any information for the purposes of this Act knowingly or recklessly makes a statement which is false; or (b) forges or uses or lends to or allows to be used other than in the manner provided by this Act by any other person any certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this Act; or (c) makes, or has in his possession any document so closely resembling any certificate so issued as to be calculated to deceive, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of N5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

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