Nigerian minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, resigns following scandal Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 28, 2021


Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, resigned on Friday, and President Muhammadu Buhari accepted her resignation, following a scandal involving her National Youth Service Corp certificate.

The minister’s resignation followed online reports that she did not participate in the one year mandatory service for Nigerian graduates but later obtained an exemption certificate said to have been forged. 

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But in her resignation letter to President Buhari, Adeosun highlighted what transpired.

“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 National Youth Service Corp (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 thirty-four (34) were holidays, with visas obtained in my UK passport.  I obtained my first Nigerian passport at the age of thirty-four (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, 14thSeptember, 2018,” Adeosun wrote in a letter to President Buhari.

In a brief statement more than a month ago, the organization said the minister did apply for the exemption certificate but did not say whether she received it or not.

Adeosun has recorded many achievements, including recovering billions of stolen dollars and increasing the number of tax payers from 14 million to almost 20 million in three years.

Go deeper: Read our assessment of her outstanding performance

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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