President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the resignation of the minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, thanking her for her services to the nation.
This is just as the finance minister has admitted that her certificate of exemption from the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) is not genuine.
The president’s acceptance of Adeosun’s resignation was made known in a statement signed by the special adviser to the president on media, Femi Adesina, and made available to journalists late yesterday in Abuja,
In the short statement , the president wished her well in her future pursuits.
The President also approved that the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, should oversee the Ministry of Finance with effect from today.
LEADERSHIP Weekend reports that Adeosun’s resignation followed months of public outrage after an online media reported that her NYSC exemption letter was forged.
Adeosun was alleged to have forged the exemption certificate several years after her graduation.
The certificate, dated September 2009, was reportedly signed by former NYSC director-general, Yusuf Bomoi, who had already left the scheme January 2009, eight months earlier.
This revelation by an online medium sparked calls by several Nigerians and groups, including Civil Society Organisations, for investigation into the alleged scandal, with many calling for her resignation, sack and prosecution if found guilty.
The federal government had responded by saying it was investigating the matter to establish the veracity or otherwise of the news report. She finally threw in the towel yesterday.
Adeosun had written to the president notifying him of her decision to resign from the federal cabinet, saying she had discovered that her NYSC exemption letter was not genuine.
Part of her letter reads: “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 NYSC that I had 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, 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 34 were holidays, with visas obtained in my UK passport. I obtained my first Nigerian passport at the age of 34 and when I relocated there was debate as to whether 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, been 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 at the 2011 Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for 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 a culture of probity and accountability I have decided to resign with effect from Friday, 14th September, 2018.”
She noted that it was a privilege to have served the nation under the Buhari administration and to have played a role in steering the economy at a very challenging time, just as thanked the president for his patience with her, her colleagues in the federal cabinet and in her ministry for the cordial working relationship.
“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,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, there was a cloud of uncertainty over whether the minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has resigned her position in the federal cabinet.
According to reports on many media outlets yesterday, the finance minister allegedly threw in the towel following the scandal over her failure to participate in the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and obtaining an exemption certificate the Corps could not authenticate.
When LEADERSHIP Weekend contacted the director of information in the ministry, Mr Hassan Dodo, for confirmation of the report, he simply said: “No, no, no – I cannot confirm it. I really cannot confirm that to you. For me at my own end, as the first son of the ministry, for now it’s a no. Until I hear from her, my assumption is that it’s not true.”
The confusion over her resignation was aggravated by reports that the minister was at the office yesterday, up until 4pm, with all her security detail aides at their duty posts.
Other officials at the ministry were similarly confused over whether she had resigned or not, Some of them said they had received calls from senior presidency officials inquiring whether the reports in the media were true – that their principal had quit.
However, the News Agency of Nigeria, a federal government-owned media, reported that the minister had indeed resigned, quoting unnamed sources.
According to NAN, though the presidency was unable to confirm the resignation, its sources, however , confirmed her resignation.
Reacting to the rumoured resignation, Professor of the Nigerian Capital Market, Uche Uwaleke, said the alleged resignation of Mrs Adeosun over allegations of NYSC certificate forgery bodes well for the image of the country and so will be positive for the Nigerian economy.
Coming shortly before the period President Buhari is expected to address the UN General Assembly, Professor Uwaleke said “her decision to step aside will send the right signals to the International community
“It goes without saying that the ministry over which she superintends is critical to the implementation of financial reforms and this administration’s anti Corruption fight.”
“Therefore, for any measure of success to be recorded, the occupant of that office must be free from moral burden. In this regard, I commend her decision. I do not see the president appointing a new person to that position given the few months left to the end of his first term in office.
I foresee a situation where the Minister of Budget and National Planning is asked to oversee the Finance Ministry for the rest of the period,” he added.
She was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015 after she was cleared by the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Senate.
Before her appointment, Adeosun worked as Accounting Assistant at the British Telecom Company , London, from 1989 to 1990 and Senior Audit Officer at Goodman Jones, London from 1996 to 2000.
Adeosu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of East London and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Financial Management from the University of London.
Adeosun was also a Commissioner for Finance in Ogun between 2011 and 2015.
Mrs Adeosun was appointed as Minister of Finance by the current President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
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