The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has said that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for the scheme to assert its continued relevance.
He said the scheme was doing this through harnessing knowledge, skills and talents of corps members.
Ibrahim spoke at the 2021 Corps Employers’ Workshop in Dutse on Wednesday.
Represented by Hajiya Zainab Isa, Director, NYSC Northwest Area Office, the director general noted that while the nation was on lockdown, the scheme remained visible as it mobilised corps members to make various interventions to support the overall national efforts to contain the deadly virus.
He explained that during the peak of the pandemic, apart from the corps medical teams that provided healthcare services, other corps members made their impact through various interventions.
He listed the interventions to include the mass production and donation of face masks, antiseptic liquid soaps and hand sanitisers.
According to him, others were the fabrication and donation of automatic and foot-operated water, liquid soap, hand sanitiser dispensers and disinfection chambers in several states and the donation of food and other palliative items to indigent people.
“Others, he said, included sensitisation of the public on infection prevention and control measures, decontamination of public premises and conduct of free virtual teaching lessons nationwide for students in JSS 3 and SS 3.”
Ibrahim stated that the eventual ease of the lockdown saw an increase in the number of corps mobilised, thereby increasing the number available for posting.
He called on corps employers to continue to carry them along in in their respective workplaces, with priority given to their safety.
“As the COVID-19 protocols are still in force, I call on employers to continue to carry corps members along in their respective workplaces with priority to their safety,” he said.
Ibrahim drew the attention of the corps employers to some shortcomings observed on their part.
“These shortcomings that needed to be tackled head-on include delay in applying or not applying at all for the services of the services of corps members and expecting them to be posted.
“Increasing rejection of the corps members, aiding them to stage manage their rejection, under-utilisation of the corps members, delay in issuance of monthly clearance to deserving corps members, aid their absconding, lack of provisions for statutory welfare needs of the corps members and inadequate provisions for corps members’ security.
“Others are exposure of the corps members to COVID-19 risks, inhuman treatment at workplaces, delay in the issuance of final clearance to deserving corps members at the end of the service year, lack of support for corps members’ CDS projects and inappropriate usage of the recently introduced NYSC ICT App,” Ibrahim said.
He reminded the employers of their expected roles in the effective implementation of the cardinal programmes and other activities of the NYSC scheme.
Ibrahim expressed the hope that stakeholders would critically look at the issues raised and sharing experiences so as to chart the way forward.
Speaking with newsmen after the one-day event, the NYSC Coordinator in the state, Hajiya Aishatu Adamu, said the exercise was organised to serve as an avenue for exchange of ideas on the improvement of the scheme’s operations, especially through the provision of enabling environment for corps members to render qualitative services.
Adamu explained that in fulfilment of its objectives, the scheme promotes national unity and accelerated socioeconomic development of the nation, as well as instill in youths a tradition of industry at work and of patriotic and loyal service to the country.
She noted that the achievements of these and other objectives could only be sustained through the collective efforts of all stakeholders, including the managers of the corps members. (NAN)