Ex-Ebonyi NYSC member cries out over awards benefits denial
By Ruth Oginyi
An ex-corps member, (NYSC), Ume Ado Ndubuisi, has raised alarm over what he described as a calculated attempt by some persons to deny him the benefits attached to the Awards given to him by both state and federal governments during his service year in Ebonyi state.
Ndubuisi, who initiated and carried out the re-construction of five Open Market Stores at Orie Market, Nguzu Edda Community and trained 10 youths of the community in various empowerment skills while serving at Afikpo-South local government council headquarters in the state, said he was yet to receive the dividends of the awards.
Ndubuisi was given a State Honours Award Certificate for outstanding performance and contribution to the development of the state by Governor David Umahi on October 11, 2019 while the then state coordinator of NYSC, Mrs. Ngozi Ibe, nominated him and two others, Riches Bagiri, and Adetona Rebecca for a Presidential Honours Award in Abuja.
Speaking with journalists in Abakaliki, the ex-serviceman, who also worked in Uburu community, the hometown of Governor Umahi, for four months as a supervisor in Uburu Industrial Cluster after his service year, lamented how all the benefits accruable to the Awards had been denied him over the years, despite his contributions to the development of the state and the country at large.
He called on Governor David Umahi, the director-general of NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim Kazaure, minister of youths and sports, Sunday Dare, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu representing Abia North Senatorial district, and Hon. Uko Nkole representing Ohafia/Arochukwu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives to intervene in the matter.
According to Ndubuisi, “if the empowerment we hear about in the state and federal governments are real, am wondering why I will spend money to rebuild five open stores and train 10 youths in the community where I served and the benefits of the Award I was nominated for or given will be denied me for almost two years.
“While serving, I was carrying blocks and sand; I used charity/contributions from here and there to positively affect the community. I served only to be schemed out of the benefits accruable to me. If youths work hard and they are not supported, how will they stand? We were 110 nominated for the Presidential Honours Award from different states by NYSC. The Awards were given out about two weeks ago and nobody contacted me. I was left out despite being on the merit list.
“The state honours award certificate personally endorsed by the governor of Ebonyi state in my name was hidden, perforated while the perpetrators filed the original copy before I discovered it by providence. I am yet to receive any benefit of that Award in Ebonyi state. When I eventually received this endorsed, perforated certificate after six months, I lodged my complaints through the Chairman NYSC Governing Board Ebonyi state, Mr. Charles Akpuenika, yet nothing was done.
“The ex-corps members were given automatic federal government employment award, with free scholarship award up to doctorate programme in any school of their choice in Nigeria, with a cash award. In these 110 awardees, I have waited patiently for the names of these beneficiaries to be released in NYSC online of which I was nominated and projected.
“I want to appreciate Governor David Umahi for all the love he showed to me during my service year. I have made efforts to see him but no way. I want to use this medium to bring to his notice that all the benefits accruable to the Award he endorsed since October 11, 2019 have not gotten to me. The people working for the governor are the ones sabotaging his good intentions for the Ebonyi people.”
Commissioner for youths and sports in Ebonyi Charles Akpuenika, in reaction, stressed that it was at the discretion of the state chief executive to approve accruable benefits attached to any award endorsed by the state government.
“The governor does make further approval in terms of monetary benefits depending on how he wants it. He has made such approval before. However, what is most important is the Merit Award Certificate signed by him on behalf of the benefiting corps members.”