- We’re Not Owing Any Cadet – Commandante
By Sodiq Yusuf
Cadets of the Osun Youth Empowerment
Scheme (OYES) have alleged authorities of
the scheme of non-payment of their monthly allowances.
The cadets in separate interviews with Bioreports stated that they have not been paid their allowances in the last three to four months.
According to them, the situation has continued to affect their means of livelihood and hindered them from catering for their personal commitments.
They bemoaned the arrangement of the OYES headquarters with the hiccups experienced during the recently concluded screening exercise for the cadets.
Speaking with Bioreports under anonymity, the O’YES volunteers expressed displeasure with the conditions and situations during the just concluded fresh screening exercise.
The management of the scheme had last Wednesday informed the cadets of the screening to be held on Friday and last Monday, telling the volunteers to show up with necessary documents for the exercise.
But the screening exercise, according to the cadets, turned out to be a kind of punishment for them, as there were no enough manpower and computer systems to attend to the cadets, who numbered into thousands.
Some of the cadets during the screening exercise
The cadets in Osogbo local government area during the screening last Friday.
One of the O’YES cadets said: “We were delayed under the scorching sun for hours. About 2,000 of us had reported to our local government headquarters around 8:30 am and we left around 6 pm on Friday. Only about 600 were attended to.
“Normally, there were supposed to be 10 computer systems for the screening but only two were available on the day. We struggled to manage with no physical distancing precautions put in place by the authority”.
Another cadet who also craved anonymity said: “The last time I got my salary was in January. We were made to ensure the linkage of our Bank Verification Number (BVN) with our salary account. We were made to do another screening again. I just hope this settles it all. We have been starving and we need our salary. The government and the OYES management should do something about it.
“We were not owed like this before. We had always been paid on time. The current developments are however frustrating and sickening.”
Another cadet explained that the OYES volunteers are not satisfied with the way the process of screening as well as the Bank Verification exercise took place.
She noted stated: “I am not happy at all. We spent hours at the bank in March, trying to link our account with the BVN. Now, we had to do a screening that exhausted us. We want to call on the authorities to please pay us. I was paid in January and March. I am yet to receive February and April salaries. We are also expecting May salary.
“I learnt that some of my colleagues went to lodge complaints at the headquarters when they had issues with their February salary. The headquarters told them to visit the bank for the process. I also participated in the screening. It was hectic on Friday but was later completed on Monday.
“We are calling on the OYES authorities to please pay us our salaries. We have things to cater for.”
Reacting to the development, the O’YES Commandate, Col. Enibukun Oyewole (Rtd) said the scheme did not owe any cadet.
Oyewole told Bioreports that volunteers with any issue should visit the office for further clarifications.
He said the screening was done to ensure proper documentation of the cadets to enable the scheme manage effectively its new initiatives to further boost the welfare of the volunteers.
Oyewole said: “Any cadet that says he/she is being owed should come to meet me at the headquarters. They are my cadets. They have unfettered access to me. About the screening, it was necessary. We went to document cadets that were in hospital. Those who were pregnant and those with small babies were attended to first.”
The O’YES Commandate explained: “I wonder why a young man under 35 years would complain that he is stressed. We told them ‘go and show your document and let your pay be smooth, they are complaining. Is it a pregnant woman that was stressed?
“I am a 70-year-old person. I went throughout the state during the four days of the verification. I did not say I was stressed, why would someone of a younger age say he/she is stressed for mere documentation?
“Is it the first time documentation is happening? Didn’t they document before they were given Identification Cards? Were those on National Youth Service Corps not documented regularly? Is it only for payment?
“The documentation is a general one which is done to update the OYES database. I don’t know why people make issue from things like this. It is for prosperity. We are the ones saying we don’t have database, we don’t have a clear data.
“When some of their colleagues are becoming millionaires from OYES, some people are making N200,000 from agric empowerment, if we do not have documentation, how do we bring more initiatives that would help everyone. The documentation is a right step in the right direction.”