The National Youth Service Corps said on Tuesday it would begin to issue certificates of national service with the passport photographs of corps members from October 15.
The Director-General of NYSC, Johnson Olawumi, said this in Abuja at the unveiling of the newly improved certificate of national service.
Mr. Olawumi, who was represented by Aliu Daura, NYSC’s Director of Certification, said the new certificate was produced to end all forms of fraud perpetuated by users of the old certificate.
“In our concerted effort to make the operation of the NYSC conform with global best practices, the scheme engaged in the holistic ‘e-NYSC solution’ with effect from batch ‘C’ 2014, where prospective corps members register online before proceeding to the orientation camps.
“This resulted in the enhancement of issuance of NYSC certificates namely: Certificate of National Service, Certificate of Exemptions, and Letters of Exclusion.
“With effect from Batch ‘C’ 2014, all certificates of national service bear passport photographs of the corps member at the upper right hand corner of the certificate.
“This is to guarantee the security of our certificates from forgery and to block all chances of impersonation.
“Therefore, Batch ‘C’ 2014 corps members, who are due to pass-out on Thursday, 15 October 2015, will have their certificates embossed with their photograph.
“Employers are encouraged to forward any certificate purportedly issued by the scheme for verification of its authenticity or otherwise.
“Effort is being made by the scheme to also make the verification of all NYSC certificates to be automated for easy access by the general public.”
Mr. Olawumi said that asides the passport photograph the newly improved certificate also contained a back code with security numbers.
He also said that they still featured the information in the old certificates except for the security features and passport photograph.
He said that it was only the NYSC that could locate the code and security numbers on the certificate adding that the measure was adopted to further enhance the security of the certificate.
The director general said previous certificates issued by the scheme was still valid and could be used by the owners.
Earlier, the Director of Press, NYSC, Bose Aderibigbe, said since the inception of the scheme 42 years ago, it had experienced cases of impersonation of the certificate.
Mr. Aderibigbe said that people often used certificates issued to other individuals to apply for jobs.
She said the new certificate, which features the photograph of corps members, will put an end to such cases as nobody would be able to use an NYSC certificate issued another to perpetrate fraud.
The director charged members of the public especially employers to ensure that they verified the NYSC certificates of prospective employees.
She said that this was earlier done by writing to the scheme, adding that employers could now verify the certificates online.
“You do not have to come to the headquarters just go online and verify the authenticity of the certificate. This will ensure that the people you are recruiting are the real owners of the document.
“Those who qualify for the certificate of national service are those who participated in the youth service right from the orientation till passing out.
“Those who qualify for the certificate of exemption are graduates who are above 30 years at the time of graduation or recipients of the National Presidential Honours Award.
“Persons who have joined the Armed Forces, Police, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Department of State Security (DSS) are also issued certificates of exemption.
“Letters of exclusion are issued to part-time and distance learning students and those who have not been able to pass through the normal university or polytechnic system,” Mr. Aderibigbe said.