The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) yesterday debunked reports that the organisation has been compelling job seekers to pay N48, 000 to be enlisted into the services of the Corps.
The management of the organisation in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Patriot Millicent Umoru, stated that the story published in LEADERSHIP Friday of January 27, 2017 and titled, “In Desperation, Job Seekers Pay N48, 000 To Enlist In Peace Corps” does not reflect the true position of happenings in the PCN.
It added that, contrary to the report, the Peace Corps of Nigeria has never asked applicants to pay N8, 000 for its recruitment form, which has been pegged at N1, 500 since the organization started enlistment of staff officers.
“In every organisation in the society, there are bad eggs. It is these bad eggs, who out of desperation to make profit from the system, sell recruitment forms for N8,000, a development that drew the irk of the management resulting in their dismissal from service, to serve as deterrent to others,” the statement said.
Also the PCN reminded that a report of investigation into the activities of the PCN dated 25th April, 2008 signed on behalf of the Force Criminal Investigation Bureau by Shehu Babalola, the then Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration at the Force headquarters, exonerated the Peace Corps of Nigeria of any form of shady deal.
According to the statement, part of the report reads: ‘’Since its eleven years of existence (1998—2008) it has operated in twenty-six states and the FCT, the Corps as an entity has not been involved in any shady deals or any anti-social or subversive activities that constitutes any security threat.’’
In addition, the report of Investigation into the activities of Peace Corps of Nigeria carried out by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) in 2015 also clearly exonerated the Corps, by saying ‘’this allegation has been proven to be false as this amount collected by the Corps represents a subsidized rate for enlisted members for the provision of complete Uniform Kits and the payment is voluntary ’’.
It is on that record that the PCN said it has been operating till date.
“It is necessary to restate here for the umpteenth time that the N40, 000 is for; a pair of Service Uniform and sewing, Beret and Plum, Line Yard and Belt, Customized Peace Corps of Nigeria T-shirt and Fez-Cap, Nigeria and Peace Corps Service Badges, medical care throughout the duration of the Camp, Training manual and PCN Brochure, Camp Identity Card, Honorarium for Guest Lecturers, Certificate of training and Service ID card, Accommodation and etc. Even at that rate, the organisation has been spending its meagre resources in subsidising it.”
It also denied that its National Commandant, Dr Dickson Akoh collected the sum of N50, 000 each from some desperate job seekers as stated in the report.
It further noted that: “Judging from all his actions and conducts so far, the National Commandant has proven that his integrity and commitment to youth cause over the years is not a fluke.
“Even at the risk of sounding immodest, Amb (Dr) Dickson A. O. Akoh, more than any other person in Nigeria today, has demonstrated immeasurable dedication to youth empowerment. So, for anybody or group of persons to tar that sparkling image with the brush of baseless allegations is quite unfortunate”.
The PCN denied it charges applicants an exorbitant sum of N10, 000 for Boot, which it said is untrue, as “the Corps does not sell boot”.
Adding that, “individual cadets are free to get their choice of boots.
“Also the N2, 000 captured by the reporter as payment for active hand book is only a figment of imagination, hence we have no such charges in our recruitment process.
“It is pertinent to emphasize that applicants are to exclusively carryout a Medical Fitness in any Government Hospital as against the report that applicants are made to pay N1,000 for Medical Fitness Test.
“The Peace Corps of Nigeria is not currently holding any Camp across the Federation as reported.”
“We however, as an organization have had series of Camps since formation 18 years ago with Commissioned Officers posted across the States and Local Government Commands Nationwide where they are being paid stipends on monthly basis.
“Suffice to also state that, the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, when passed into law, shall accord the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, the statutory responsibility of overseeing the Corps; and not the Ministry of Interior as erroneously stated.”