Three “graduates” of Enugu State University of Science and Technology mobilised to participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme have shown lack of competence and intelligence level expected of genuine degree holders, Blueprint learnt last night.
In education circles, questions are being asked over the competence of the university and indeed other institutions of learning.
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The three corps members are: Nwankwo Elias Chukwuebuka, a graduate of BSc Electrical/Electronics, with code number NG/11B/1660 and a NYSC call-up number NYSC/EST/2011/1777093; Mbah Linda Akunna, a graduate of BSc Electricals/Electronics with code number LA/11B/5245, a call-up number EST/2011/178882 and matriculation number ESUT/2005/96998, and Okochi Adaeze Kate, a graduate of Geography/Meteorology, with code number AD/12B/0389, call-up number EST/2012/148292 and matriculation number ESUT/2006/10400.
According to documents obtained by Blueprint, the three “graduates,” who are serving in Niger, Lagos and Adamawa states respectively, were rejected, with formal letters sent to the state coordinators by their areas of primary assignment and forwarded to the NYSC headquarters in Abuja.
The national headquarters, in a August 29, 2012 letter signed by the Director General of NYSC, N.T. Okore-Affia, had informed the NUC of the presence of corps members who displayed “glaring lack of academic ability and intelligence level expected of genuine Nigerian graduates, which were consistently exhibited by the three students from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology.”
Attaching copies of letters from NYSC secretariats in Niger, Adamawa and Lagos, Okore-Affia noted: “As contained in the reports, the corps members exhibited signs of incompetence and low intelligence level which range from inability to complete registration formats correctly to not being able to teach pupils at nursery school level. These inadequacies led to their rejections by their employers in their various states of deployment.”
The case, according to an insider’s account, has baffled the National Universities Commission (NUC) and prompted the setting up of a committee to “verify the integrity of the degrees,” and find out if there was collaboration by the university.
Federal education authorities are suspecting a wide-ranging scam that might have been going on for years.
To unravel how the three corps members were mobilised, the NUC has already set up a panel, comprising officials of NYSC, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the State Security Service (SSS).
The mandate of the panel, according to a letter dated September 24, 2012 signed by NUC Director of Quality Assurance, Professor C.F. Mafiana, “is to fully investigate the report with a view to identifying the culprits, including others similarly mobilised and their collaborators, and ensuring sanctions accordingly. The team would be chaired by a visiting professor in the NUC.”
Out of the three corps members, Okochi could hardly write the Roman figures from one to 10 in words, just as she could not write three states and their capitals. She could not provide the names of two major rivers in Nigeria, just as she failed to name three countries that share border with Nigeria.
Akunna, according to the documents, was rejected by Kings College, Lagos, after it was discovered that she was grossly incompetent to perform her duties.
A further test on her by the Lagos state NYSC secretariat revealed that though a graduate of Electricals/Electronics, she never passed any of the science subjects at the secondary school level.
The third fellow, Chukwuebuka, who was posted to Niger state, was rejected by a nursery/primary school known as FEMA Schools because of his inability to read and write.
Having been rejected by two employers, he had to be reposted by Niger state NYSC to a bakery, pending the final determination of his case by the NYSC national headquarters.
When queried on his incompetence, Chukwuebuka proved his incompetence when he responded in writing: “I awarded a degree in Enugu State University of Science and Technology I have a probeam in my university am manegn my siefe to funsh my school.”
A source disclosed last night that members of the panel would soon commence probing the circumstances under which the “graduates” were released by the university to participate in the NYSC scheme.