File photo of members of the National Youth Service Corps departing the FCT orientation camp in Kubwa, Abuja on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun / Channels TV
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, says the Federal Government is committed to sustaining the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), amid calls for the scheme to be scrapped.
Dare made the comment in a tweet on his handle on Wednesday morning, praising the NYSC for its contribution to national development.
“The NYSC scheme remains one of the greatest tools for National development for our youth,” the minister explained. “The commitment of the government to sustaining the NYSC scheme remains. Dynamic Reforms and Initiatives towards current realities are ongoing. Nigeria will stand with her youth.”
The NYSC scheme remains one of the greatest tools for National development for our youth. The commitment of the government to sustaining the NYSC scheme remains. Dynamic Reforms and Initiatives towards current realities are ongoing. Nigeria will stand with her youth.
— Sunday Dare (@SundayDareSD) May 26, 2021
A ‘Defeated Objective’?
Calls for the scrapping of the NYSC had recently gained momentum following a federal lawmaker’s sponsorship of a bill to repeal the National Youth Service Corps Act.
The member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, said though the scheme was mapped out to foster unity among Nigerians, the programme has failed to address the essence of its establishment after several decades.
During a plenary session on Monday, Abiante who represents Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency decried that several reform efforts have also not yielded desired results.
He argued that the NYSC has continued to be a drain on the nation’s scarce resources and exposed families to several nightmares, and even the loss of loved ones after so much investment.
“Due to insecurity across the country, the National Youth Service Corps Management now give considerations to posting corps members to their geo-political zone, thus defeating one of the objectives of setting up the service corps i.e. developing common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration,” the lawmaker said.
“Many corps members are being used by their employers for jobs that have no bearing on the skills acquired at institutions of higher learning, thus making them unemployable after their service year.”
While many shared the lawmaker’s concerns about the scheme, some Nigerians believe it should not be scrapped but made optional and modified to suit the realities of the time.
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari when he received some corps members in his Daura hometown in Katsina State in 2018.
One such person is Senator Shehu Sani who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th Senate.
“The NYSC should not be scrapped. It’s needed now more than ever before. Many Nigerians have never known anywhere other than their hometown and University town if not for NYSC,” he tweeted on Monday. “Its mandate should be expanded to give participants full military training in the face of insecurity.”
The NYSC should not be scrapped.Its needed now more than ever before.Many Nigerians have never known anywhere other than their hometown and University town if not for NYSC.Its mandate should be expanded to give participants full military training in the face of insecurity.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) May 24, 2021
The NYSC scheme is a mandatory one-year national service for Nigerian graduates who bagged their first degree before turning 30. It was created on 22 May 1973 to foster unity following the Civil War.