By Favour Adedoyin
No fewer than 5,720 Batch ‘A’ corps members posted to Lagos State by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for the compulsory one-year service scheme have passed out and collected their certificates of discharge.
The passing-out ceremony for the 2020 Batch ‘A’ Corps members was held simultaneously in all the local government areas of Lagos without the usual fanfare and parade, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Ikeja Local Government Council passing-out exercise, the NYSC Lagos State coordinator, Mr. Eddy Megwa, said 5,720 corps members ended their one-year mandatory service to the country and would be presented with their certificates.
Megwa said the passing-out ceremony took place simultaneously in all local governments of the state, adding: ‘It is a lowkey ceremony because of the situation we are in. The ceremony is lowkey because of COVID-19.”
He confirmed that 32 corps members were sanctioned, stating: “You don’t expect 5,720 people without some playing truancy; 32 corps members found wanting had their service year extended to between one to two months or more.”
Giving more details about the 32 sanctioned corps members, Megwa disclosed that four were penalised for absconding for the year’s mandatory service, while 28 others were for different offences.
“Those who absconded will repeat the one year service. They will not serve in Lagos, they will be deployed to another state. The period the four corps members absconded, NYSC did not pay them,” he said.
The coordinator disclosed that Batch ‘A’ produced an exceptional corps member, Adegbite Joshua, from Oyo State, who produced hand sanitisers that was distributed to residents and other projects. He said Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu would present him the award.
Megwa advised the 5,720 corps members to portray the corporate image of NYSC in good light and also charged them that, as ambassadors of the scheme, they must promote national unity and integration in their various states.
“I appeal to you as worthy ambassadors to go back to your different states and preach national unity and integration. NYSC is one of the nation’s old institutions that has survived till date,” he added.
The NYSC coordinator warned that COVID-19 was real and they should take responsibility of their health, “You know we tested you before being allowed into camp and we have officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) who monitored corps members,” he said.
A corps member, Akinsanya Oyindamola, a graduate of Mass Communication, said Batch ‘A’ spent a week in camp because of COVID-19 and visitors were not allowed into the camp.
“I am happy to pass out. I made my mum proud as the first graduate of the family. She made many sacrifices to support my education. I can’t wait to see my mum and appreciate her for the efforts.”