Another Minister in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has been enmeshed in an NYSC scandal.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, is facing allegation that he failed to participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
Premium Times reports that Shittu was allegedly found to have skipped the mandatory NYSC scheme, calling it “an offence that may see him lose his position and earn him jail term.”
The report revealed that Adebayo Shittu failed to participate in the NYSC scheme despite graduating from the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) at age 25.
Shittu is currently battling to take over from Abiola Ajimobi as governor of Oyo state in 2019.
Shittu's own scandal comes barely one week after the former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun resigned and left Nigeria for the United Kingdom shortly afterwards.
According to the report, “Shittu admitted that he did not serve but claimed he thought his first political post after graduation could suffice as national service, a claim lawyers and NYSC insiders consider as ludicrous and untenable.
“Skipping the compulsory national service is an offence under the NYSC law, punishable with up to 12 months imprisonment,” the report said.
It was understood that instead of undergoing the compulsory NYSC scheme, Shittu opted for politics after graduation, and was, in 1979, elected member of the Oyo state House of Assembly. He reportedly argued the election as a lawmaker covers for the mandatory NYSC scheme.
According to Shittu: “The constitution provides for the qualification needed for state assembly members, NYSC is not there.
“I didn’t need it to become a member of the state assembly, and that is already a service,” he said.
The report said Shittu disagreed with its correspondent “who laboured to explain to him that the NYSC act makes participation in the scheme mandatory for all graduates like him and that election or appointment to political office does not qualify as a basis for exemption.”