Nigeria’s Finance Minister resigns, as government puts house in order ahead of 2019 elections

Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, has resigned according to sources in the country’s capital, Abuja.

The resignation follows a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate scandal. The NYSC is a compulsory one-year service upon completion of higher education without which a Nigerian graduate cannot get a job or work in any government institution, especially financial institutions in the country. Every graduate is mandated to have an NYSC certificate after the service or an exemption letter certifying that they are above the stipulated age limit of 30 years.

In Adeosun’s case, she graduated with a degree in Applied Economics from a British university at the age of 22. Upon returning to the country in 2002, Adeosun felt it was unnecessary to participate in the NYSC scheme. So she accepted a job offer at a private firm, Chapel Hill Denham.

With fear of the implications of working without a certificate, especially as a public officer, Adeosun, sometime in 2009, procured an exemption certificate which Premium Times discovered to be fake. Although the NYSC is yet to certify the originality of the exemption certificate, a statement was released saying, “Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun. We are Checking our records, Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate and we shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question.”

The presidency also released a statement of an ongoing investigation relating to the certificate “The minister of information has spoken on the matter. And a process is ongoing to address the allegations. When that process is complete, Nigerians will know the outcome.” Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu stated.

Meanwhile, the Minister while pleading for the understanding of Nigerians said that she didn’t know her certificate was forged because she outsourced the process to a third party.

Although, no official statement has been released to confirm Adeosun’s resignation as at the time of publishing this report, many believe that the Finance Minister resigned to ensure the scandal does not hurt the Presidency in the run-up to the 2019 election. Others see her resignation as another move in the chess game the Nigerian government seem to be playing, with Adeosun a pawn to drown earlier outcry over a DSS appointment the government announced on Thursday.