Despite many Nigerians querying her nomination for a ministerial position, she swayed the Senate with her British accent, little did we know that they had something on her – a forged NYSC exemption certificate.
On September 14, 2018, British-born Kemi Adeosun resigned her position as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, 69 days after online news medium, Premium Times reported that her NYSC exemption certificate was forged.
Born in London on March 9, 1967, Adeosun, a British citizen was sworn in as Finance Minister by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 11, 2015, succeeding Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Adeosun assumed office at a time Nigeria’s economy was at its lowest ebb; oil prices had nosedived, the value of the naira to foreign currencies was abysmal and the president was holding a hardline stance on the devaluation of the naira.
Before becoming Finance Minister, Adeosun on her return to Nigeria in 2002, was appointed the Financial Controller at Chapel Hill Denham Management, a position she held until 2010 when she was made the Managing Director.
Between 2010 and 2011, Adeosun went ahead to become the Managing Director of Quo Vadis Partnership and was appointed Ogun Finance Commissioner in 2011 by Governor Ibikunle Amosun and held the position for four years.
In her resignation letter, Adeosun said she received her first Nigerian passport at the age of 34 and that at the time of her relocation to Nigeria, there was a “debate as to whether the NYSC Law applied to me,” adding that “upon enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of thirty (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve.“
Adeosun’s submission begs one to question how she came about this information. Being British and having Nigerian parents, the first thing expected of the former Minister on her return to Nigeria was to observe the mandatory service year, seeing that she finished her university education at the age of 23 and was unqualified for an exemption based on age.
But because of her privilege and her perception that she could go scotfree, she did not deem it fit to visit the NYSC headquarters to find out the situation of things for herself, she rather chose to confide in “trusted associates” who ended up issuing her a forged exemption certificate.
Adeosun had gamed Nigeria and the system for sixteen years.
Ever since her return to Nigeria, the British-born Adeosun has robbed Nigeria by working without a valid NYSC certificate; a contravention of the country’s law.
What Adeosun did is something she could not have done in her country of birth, the United Kingdom, but she thought it was appropriate to disrespect Nigeria by evading the system.
But before Adeosun’s certificate scandal became public, social commentator, Tola Sarumi in a Twitter thread in 2016 tweeted that “Nigerians, you people need to let us who’ve lived in a working system take charge of that country. International exposure is a prerequisite.”
Nigerians, you people need to let us who’ve lived in a working system take charge of that country. International exposure is a prerequisite.
— T. Rankïn’ ∆ (@AfroVII) September 19, 2016
Sarumi’s position is that international exposure and living and working in a first world country is a prerequisite for being able to change Nigeria.
This privileged, egoistic and superiority mindset is unfounded as many Nigerian leaders fit into this description; but has there been any significant change?
What has this so-called international exposure brought to the country?
In Adeosun’s case and with many others, so-called privileged Nigerians often display ignorance on how the law works in the country and lay the blame for their misdeeds at the doorstep of the system.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.