By Clement Oloyede

Whenever corp members receive their call-up letters, former corp members start bombarding them with information about the strenuous and regimental nature of registration procedures in camps. This bombardment breeds fear of the unknown in most new corp members. However, with the introduction of online registration which takes effect from this batch (C, 2014), capturing of corp members' data becomes easier and prompter, although many kick against this development.

One of the newly registered corp members in Obubra Camp said that "when I got my call-up letter, my friend who happens to serve in this state last year told of me of the rigorosity of registering in the camp but I was surprised when I got to the camp and completed my registration in a couple of hours." Data capturing is the miracle. This data capturing through ICT is an improvement on past registration procedures, which according to testimonies from various former corp members, do take over 24 hours to accomplish.

The registration procedure even became faster for those that printed their call-up letters online after paying the optional N4,000 registration fee. A corp member in this category told OBS that "we were divided into two groups when we started the registration: the queue for those with online call-up letters and the queue for those with offline call-up letters gotten from their respective institutions."

"Those with the online call-up letters were able to skip two stages of the registration by just authenticating their online call up letters with the aid of the ICT equipments (barcode and biometric scanners, among others) by NYSC," he added.

Congruently, as most newly introduced systems are not without their various teething problems, some corp members complained of not being able to authenticate their call-up letters on the first day of registration as the computer gave them a "No Record Found" response. However, NYSC responded promptly and corrected this anomaly on the second day of registration and those with this problem were able to register and join-up with their colleagues on the parade ground in preparation for the swearing-in ceremony.

This promptness and improvement of registration procedure by NYSC is worthy of emulation by other government parastatals. For Nigeria to fully reap the dividends of ICT that other nations of the world are already accruing, movement from paper to paperless must be up-held.

Oloyede wrote from National Youth Service Corps Orientation Camp, Obubra, Cross River state. [email protected], 08092266979

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