On Friday, 14th September 2018, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun resigned from her position over a scandal bothering on allegations of forgery of her Certificate of Exemption from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), as revealed by an investigative report by online medium, Premium Times, published on July 7, 2018.
Following huge pressure from the media, civil society groups, opposition parties and Nigerians in general, the London-born Economist turned in her resignation letter to the President, giving long awaited explanations as her side to the story.
A statement released by the Presidency, which was also posted on its official Twitter account, revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari accepted her resignation, thanked the Minister for her services to the nation and wished her well in her future pursuits.
FULL TEXT OF THE RESIGNATION LETTER:
Let me commence by thanking you profusely for the honour and privilege of serving under your inspirational leadership. It has been a truly rewarding experience to learn from you and to observe at close quarters, your integrity and sense of duty.
I have today, become privy to the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the Certificate of Exemption from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) that I presented was not genuine. This has come as a shock to me and I believe that in line with this administration’s focus on integrity, I must do the honourable thing and resign.
Your Excellency, it has been an exceptional privilege to have served our nation under your leadership and to have played a role in steering our economy at a very challenging time. I am proud that Nigeria has brought discipline into its finances, has identified and is pursuing a path to long term sustainable growth that will unlock the potential in this great economy.
Under your leadership, Nigeria was able to exit recession and has now started to lay the foundations for lasting growth and wealth creation. Re-positioning this economy is not a short term task and there are no short cuts. Indeed, there are tough decisions to be made but I have no doubt that your focus on infrastructural investment, revenue mobilisation and value for money in public expenditure will deliver growth, wealth and opportunity for all Nigerians.
I thank His Excellency, the Vice President and my colleagues in the Federal Executive Council for the huge pleasure of working with them. I also thank most specially, the team in the ‘Finance Family’ of advisers and heads of agencies under the Ministry of Finance. Your Excellency, this group of Nigerians represent a range of background, ethnicities and ages. They have worked well above and beyond the call of duty to support me in the tasks assigned. The diversity in my team and their ability to work cohesively to deliver reforms, convinces me that Nigeria has the human capital required to succeed.
Your Excellency, kindly permit me to outline some of the background to this matter. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, indeed my parental family home remains in London. My visits to Nigeria up until the age of thirty-four (34) were holidays, with visas obtained in my UK passport. I obtained my Nigerian passport at the age of thirty-four (34) and when I relocated, there was debate as to whether the NYSC Law applied to me. 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. Until recent events, that remained my understanding.
On the basis of that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates, NYSC were approached for documentary proof of status. I then received the certificate in question. Having never worked in NYSC, visited the premises, being privy to, nor familiar with their operations, I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything but genuine. Indeed, I presented that certificate in 2011 at the Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for the Directorate of State Services (DSS) clearance, as well as to the National Assembly for screening.
Be that as it may, as someone totally committed to the culture of probity and accountability, I have decided to resign with effect from Friday, 14th September 2018.
Your Excellency, let me conclude by commending your patience and support during the long search for the truth in this matter. I thank you again for giving me the honour of serving under your leadership. It is a rare privilege which I do not take for granted. As a Nigerian and committed progressive, I appreciate you for your dogged commitment to improving this nation.
Please be assured as always, of my highest regards and best wishes.
Kemi Adeosun (Mrs.)
The President also approved that the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, should oversee the Ministry of Finance with effect from Friday.
The President also approved that the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, should oversee the Ministry of Finance with effect from today.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) September 14, 2018
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Journalist, Political Analyst and Satirist with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.