From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, has enjoined Prospective Corps Members (PCMs) to add value to themselves, their places of primary assignment, including their host communities during their service year.
Gen Ibrahim made the appeal Monday in his nationwide virtual address to the 2021 Batch ‘B’ Stream 11 PCMs and Camp Officials.
While advising them to study their host communities after completion of their Orientation Course, he directed them to initiate laudable projects that would improve their standard of living.
The DG warned that they must not execute projects with personal funds, but source for funds from members of their host communities, urging them to obtain approval from the NYSC State Coordinator before embarking on any project.
‘Look round your host communities to identify their challenges and add value. Don’t pass through NYSC without adding value to it.
‘Don’t pass through the community where you are going to serve without adding value to it. Choose projects that the community will appreciate,’ Gen Ibrahim stated.
The NYSC DG stated further that a prospective recipient of the NYSC National Honours Award must have excelled in all the four cardinal programmes of the Service namely: Orientation Course, Primary Assignment, Community Development Service, Winding-Up/Passing-Out, and also won the Sate Hounours Award.
Speaking further, he said members of the National Selection Board are eminent personalities drawn from different Federal Government agencies.
‘Winning of National Honours Award means that you must perform excellently in all the Four Cardinal Programmes of the NYSC starting from the Orientation Camp.
‘Once you relocate from one state to another, or you lobby for a change of posting or engage in induced rejection, you are disqualified,’ he said.
Gen lbrahim further noted that all Corps Members are expected to be patriotic and ready to serve wherever they are deployed to, without expecting anything in return.
Quoting from Gen Yakubu Gowon’s inaugural address at the inception of the NYSC in 1973, the Director General said: ‘NYSC was established so that the youths will put in their best in the service of their country without asking anything in return.’
He also adminished the PCMs to use the opportunity of the Orientation Course to imbibe teamwork, leadership training, and also establish friendship that will outlive the service year.
‘I want to urge you to know that the orientation course is very germane to the operations of the NYSC, because it is the first point of contact between Corps Members of all diverse groups from different states of the federation.
‘The objective of the NYSC Scheme is to promote national unity and integration; and NYSC is a platform for those that are serious, and an opportunity to advance and achieve your set objectives in life,’ the DG noted.
He also urged the PCMs to adhere strictly to all the safety protocols of COVID-19 as provided in their orientation camps.
He advised them to emulate their predecessors who contributed selflessly to combating COVID-19 at its outbreak, by providing hand sanitisers, face masks, disinfectant soaps among other things.
While urging them to continue to sensitise Nigerians on the dangers of COVID-19, he said: ‘I want to warn you that COVID-19 is still around. I want to advise that you get vaccinated in order to protect yourself and also protect others. Don’t be deceived with the misinformation on COVID-19.’
Gen Ibrahim reiterated that all camp participants were tested for COVID-19 adding that only those that tested negative for the disease that were allowed into the Orientation Camps, just as he insisted that those that tested positive were handed over to NCDC and State Health Officials for treatment.
‘I want to urge you to put in your best in service as a way of reciprocating Federal Government’s gesture,’ he said.
The DG also enjoined the PCMs to key into the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme (SAED) of the Service as it would enable them become employers of labour in the long run.
He charged them to learn a skill in camp and continue with the post-camp training after their Orientation.
He said the Service had partnered the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, Access Bank, Unity Bank, NYSC Foundation, among others to provide soft loans to Corps Members to start their business vocations.
He added that efforts are on-going for the establishment of National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSCTF) that would give Corps Members more access to funds to finance their vocations and also enhance the operations of the Skill Acquisition programme of the Service.
‘You must respect the dignity of labour and do not allow anyone to discourage you. Salaried jobs are no more easily available.
‘Avoid cutting corners, cherish your integrity with passion and once you are hardworking, you will excel. Shun cybercrimes, avoid drugs and don’t get involved in nefarious activities,’ he said.
The Director General warned the PCMs against nagative use of social media, admonishing them to use it to ‘promote national unity and integration and not to spread fake news.’
Gen Ibrahim also warned against embarking on authorised journeys, he advised them to obtain approval from the NYSC before travelling, adding that if such application is not approved they should not travel.
The Director General advised the PCMs to be security conscious and avoid boarding vehicles by the roadside, rather, go to designated motorparks for such.
He disclosed that the Service had partnered the Federal Road Safety Corps and transport unions to ensure that only roadworthy vehicles and professional drivers are allowed to convey Corps Members.
Gen lbrahim also advised that they should avoid night journeys and break their journey once it is six in the evening and ‘pass the night in a military barracks, Corps Lodge or NYSC Secretariats.’
He informed the PCMs that there is nothing in NYSC like ‘two weeks break after leaving camp’, as he urged them to settle down in their respective Place of Primary Assignments after the Orientation Course.