From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, has described the scheme as a tool for the socio-economic development of the country, contrary to the recent clamour for scraping of it.
He insisted that the relevance of the scheme in the integration and national cohesion of the country cannot be underestimated.
The NYSC DG further explained that through the deployment of corps members to States outside their States of origin, they contribute their quota by making positive impact in the lives of their host communities through the execution of different laudable projects.
Speaking on Thursday in his office in Abuja, Ibrahim emphasised that; “NYSC is germane and critical to the unity of the country.”
“NYSC is not a waste of time, wherever corps members are posted to, they have been adding value in order to be remembered with good legacies,” he insisted.
Speaking further, Brigadier General Ibrahim said that NYSC management has partnered with the security agencies in the country in order to ensure adequate protection for corps members during the service year.
He added that corps members are always sensitised in camp on the need to be security conscious, not to indulge in late night movements and other risky adventures like overnight travelling.
He counselled the corps members and prospective corps members to break any journey that will take them beyond 6pm, stressing: “Security is everybody’s business and security challenge is not limited to NYSC alone.
“We want to appeal to parents to help us also sensitise their children not to endanger their safety. Every country has challenges but we should turn our challenge into opportunities,” lbrahim suggested.
On youth empowerment, the Director-General disclosed that the management in 2012 introduced Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme into Orientation Course Content which has enabled thousands of corps members to acquire vocational skills.
He further stated that the partnership between the scheme and its stakeholders like the Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank among others, which offer soft loans to corps members has turned many of them to employers of labour and wealth creators today.
“Let me reiterated my call for the establishment of National Youth Service Trust Fund where a certain percentage of the proceeds from private organisations would be used to upgrade and maintain Orientation Camp facilities, while corps members would also be given a certain amount at the end of their service year to start their business vocations.
Commending the state governments that have been performing their statutory responsibility of the provision, maintenance and upgrade of camp facilities, he called on others lagging behind to be alive to their responsibilities.
General Ibrahim noted that the NYSC scheme has a good posting/deployment policy based on extant guidelines and regulations.
“Posting, redeployment and other services are free in NYSC. Relocation is done on health and marital grounds with genuine reasons.
“Parents should teach their children to be patriotic and have human feeling. Let the spirit of NYSC be in us for the betterment of our country,” Ibrahim added.