By Arogbonlo Israel
Following recent calls for the discontinuation of the National Youth Service Corps, the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has said the relevance of the scheme in the integration and National cohesion of the country cannot be underestimated.
He said the National Youth Service Corps has been serving as a tool for the socio-economic development of the country through the deployment of Corps Members to States outside their States of origin, where they contribute their quota by making positive impact in the lives of their host communities through the execution of different laudable projects.
Vanguard reports that a lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Awaji-Inombek Abiante had earlier sponsored a bill to scrap the scheme following the spike of insecurity in the country among other reasons.
Reacting, the DG in a statement Wednesday, emphasised the importance of the scheme amid all odds insisting it is sine qua non to the peace and tranquility of the country.
“NYSC is germane and critical to the unity of the country”.
“NYSC is not a waste of time, wherever Corps Members are posted to, they have been adding value in order to be remembered with good legacies”.
He said NYSC Management has partnered with the security agencies in the country in order to ensure adequate protection for Corps Members during the service year.
He added that Corps Members are always sensitised in camp on the need to be security conscious, not indulging in late night movements and other risky adventures like overnight travelling. He counselled the Corps Members and prospective Corps Members to break any journey that will take them beyond 6pm.
“Security is everybody’s business and security challenge is not limited to NYSC alone. We want to appeal to parents to help us also sensitise their children not to endanger their safety. Every country has challenges but we should turn our challenge into opportunities,” he said.
Speaking on youth empowerment, the Director-General said NYSC Management in 2012 introduced Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme into Orientation Course Content which has enabled thousands of Corps Members to acquire vocational skills.
The Number One Corps Member stated further that the partnership between the Scheme and its stakeholders like the Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank among others, which offer soft loans to Corps Members has turned many of them to employers of labour and wealth creators today.
The DG also reiterated his call for the establishment of National Youth Service Trust Fund where a certain percentage of the proceeds from private organisations would be used to upgrade and maintain Orientation Camp facilities, while Corps Members would also be given a certain amount at the end of their service year to start their business vocations.
He commended the State Governments that have been performing their statutory responsibility of the provision, maintenance and upgrade of camp facilities, while calling on others lagging behind to be alive to their responsibilities.
General Ibrahim reiterated that the NYSC Scheme has a good posting/deployment policy based on extant guidelines and regulations.
“Posting, redeployment and other services are free in NYSC. Relocaction is done on health and marital grounds with genuine reasons.
“Parents should teach their children to be patriotic and have human feeling. Let the spirit of NYSC be in us for the betterment of our country,” the DG added.
He further charged Corps Members and the prospective ones not to waste the service year, but rather improve themeslves, as well as add value to their host communities, in line with the motto of the NYSC, Service and Humility for which they will be remembered by posterity.