Kaduna State Coordinator of the National Youth Services Corps, NYSC, Bello Ballama, has said the board will resist any attempt to expose Corps members under his regime to danger or use them for cheap labour in the name of serving their nation.
Ballama was speaking against the backdrop that Kaduna Electric had allegedly requested for deployment of about 500 Corps members to serve in the company, while retrenching over 530 of its substantive staff. The state coordinator made this disclosure to journalists on a telephone interview.
The coordinator was, however, quick to admit that Corps members are young, energetic and could be engaged in a challenging environment, so long as it would make them useful in their field of disciplines, and not jeopardize their future.
Trouble started when a Corps member (name withheld), told journalists that they were being rejected by the management of the Kaduna Electric, two months after being accepted to serve in the company as their place of primary assignments.
Earlier, an insider source, who pleaded anonymity, told journalists that Kaduna Electric requested for about 500 Corps members and retrenched 530 of its staff; adding that, till last week, some of the sacked workers were still collecting their (sack) letters from the office in tears.
The source further disclosed that, while the company was paying the retrenched workers the sum of N100,000 and above as monthly salaries, “it’s paying N25,000 each to the Corps members on monthly basis.”
“Some Corps members were ask to leave after two months’ serving in the company,” for reasons, the source could not properly explain.
But, when contacted for clarification, Idris Muhammad, who heads Kaduna Electric’s Corporate Communications – comprising Kaduna, Zanfara, Kebbi and Sokoto states, respectively, pleaded for more time to enable him clarify the information from designated offices before speaking to journalists.
Idris also stated that he had no accurate data of the Corps members serving in the company and, therefore, promised to call back on the journalists before office closing hour, but could not.
Several calls and text messages put to Idris to remind him to fulfill his promise also failed, neither did he pick, return the calls nor replied any SMS. But when he eventually picked, three days after – precisely last Friday – Idris said “I’m sorry, I couldn’t get back to you as I promised due to ill health. I’m waiting to see the Human Resources Manager, who is attending a meeting right in the office. When he finishes, I will get back to you, after Juma’at prayer, with call or furnish you with the statistics you sought for.”
Until the time of filling this report, the communication manager did not fulfill his promise to call back.
Idris, however, had earlier on told journalists that the company is working towards creating database of its consumers and potential customers for the purpose of future planning and expansion, among others.
According to him, the company, therefore, required the services of the Corps members to help actualize the dream, which involved trekking and contacting consumers in their locations, adding that the project may not take longer time to complete and, probably, free the recruited Youth Corpers.