From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, has lamented the persistent dilapidated state of facilities at its orientation camps across the country.
General Ibrahim, who raised the fresh alarm at the opening ceremony of the 2021 NYSC Annual Management Conference (AMC) in Abuja on Wednesday, however, thanked the States and Local Government Areas for supporting the scheme over the years.
‘The annual management conference is a forum, where NYSC top management team and other key officers make a thorough review of the scheme’s operations with a view to evolving policies and strategies for improved performance,’ he stated.
‘As you are all aware, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2019 affected the operations of the NYSC and all other organisation globally.’
‘However, it may interest you to know that the scheme has weathered through by operating effectively amidst the challenges of the COVID-19, while also ensuring strict adherence to all the safety protocols.
‘We have been working closely with the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and State Ministries of Health for safe and efficient conduct of Orientation courses and other operations of the scheme.
‘It is a known fact that NYSC has remained a national asset, which plays vital roles in the promotion of peaceful co-existence among people of diverse socio-cultural backgrounds through the deployment of corps members to locations away from their states of origin and geopolitical zones.
‘We not only create conditions for them to work together, but also take deliberate steps to fully integrated them into their host communities.
‘The contributions of the scheme to all spheres of the national development, including education, health, infrastructural development, sports, free movement of labour, provision of free legal aid services, conduct of elections and job creation, amongst others, have also attracted widespread applause both nationally and internationally.
‘Even as we continue to celebrate our achievements, this conference seeks to consolidate them and break new grounds by coming up with fresh ideas and initiatives that will enable the scheme operate optimally while being continually responsive to national needs.
‘The theme, “NYSC as a catalyst for national unity, integration and peaceful co-existence in Nigeria”, is particularly chosen, taking into cognizance some contemporary challenges in the country that threaten our unity and peaceful co-existence,’ General Ibrahim stated.
Speaking further on the challenges, the NYSC DG said: ‘There is no iota of doubt that NYSC comes handy as a rescue agency for our socio-cultural hegemony.
‘I wish to point out that despite its accomplishments, the scheme is faced with operational challenges occasioned by dilapidated Orientation camp facilities, inadequate office accommodation for state secretariats and non-fulfilment of statutory responsibilities by some stakeholders, amongst others.
‘While I use this opportunity to thank State and Local Governments for their support over the years, I also appeal for continued intervention to address the aforementioned problems where they exist,’ he said.
While the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, delivered a goodwill message, his FCT counterpart declared the workshop open.