The National Service Secretariat has warned heads of tertiary institutions to desist from the practice of holding back pin codes of final year students who are due for national service.

The NSS said its attention had been drawn to the fact that “some private tertiary institutions are extorting monies from final year students purporting to be NSS registration fees before they submit their names for national service”.

A statement issued on Thursday by Executive Director, Vincent Kuagbenu noted that, other institutions were withholding NSS pin codes issued by the Scheme to final year students, as a bait to retrieve outstanding schools fees owed by such students.

“Management takes a serious view of these developments and wishes to register its strongest disapproval. Management further wishes to state in unequivocal terms that payment of registration or school fees by students is NOT a requirement for issuance of NSS pin codes to register for national service”, the statement emphasized.

It described as illegal and fraudulent, for any tertiary institution(s) to demand any form of registration fees from final year students, or to withhold student’s NSS pin codes because they default in school fees.

The statement directed such institutions to desist from such acts, and where monies have already been collected, they should refund them immediately to the respective students”.

Meanwhile final year students who may have fallen victims to any such unorthodox means by their school authorities are advised to report to any of the Scheme’s Regional Secretariats or to the Head office of the Scheme in Accra.