Brig.-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, Executive Director (DG) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), says the program is not a waste of time and is still relevant to the integration and national cohesion of the country.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that Ibrahim said this in a statement by the program’s deputy director of publications, Mr. Emeka Mgbemena.
NAN reports that Representative Awaji-Inombek Abiante, a member of the House of Representatives recently sponsored a bill proposing that the NYSC program be scrapped.
The program was established in 1973 by the Yakubu Gowon administration, as part of strategies to foster unity in the post-civil war period.
It was created by decree 24.
However, the program has come under heavy criticism in recent times due to the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Abiante cited insecurity, exploitation by the main duty station and the poor condition of orientation camps as reasons for his bill.
The bill has, however, been submitted for second reading in the House of Representatives.
The CEO, however, noted that contrary to what some people claim, “the NYSC is relevant and essential to the unity of the country.”
Ibrahim said the NYSC served as a tool for the socio-economic development of the country through the deployment of corps members to states outside of their home state to contribute their quota to national development.
He underlined that thanks to this program, the members of the corp had had a positive impact on the life of their host communities through the execution of various commendable community projects.
According to him, the members of the body have added value to life wherever they are affected in order to be remembered with a good legacy.
He said the NYSC leadership was concerned about the safety of corps members and had partnered with security agencies across the country to ensure adequate protection for corps members during their year of service.
He added that corp members were always sensitized in the camp on the need to be security aware at all times.
“Safety is everyone’s business and the safety challenge is not limited to NYSC.
“We also call on parents to help us educate their children not to put their lives at risk.
“Every country has challenges, but we have to turn our challenges into opportunities,” Ibrahim said.
Speaking on the youth empowerment program, the CEO said the NYSC leadership has empowered thousands of corps members to acquire professional skills.
He said the program achieved this goal by introducing, in 2012, the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) program into the content of the orientation course.
He also said that the partnership between the Scheme and its stakeholders such as the Bank of Industry (BOI), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Access Bank, and among others, which attract loans on favorable terms for members of the body, have transformed many of them. as employers of creators of labor and wealth.