The bill before the House of Representatives to discontinue the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC scheme has further justified the calls for the scrapping of the one-year mandatory programme for Nigerian graduates.
According to the House of Reps member, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, who sponsored the bill seeking the discontinuation of the NYSC scheme, the alarming rate of insecurity in some parts of Nigeria is one of the primary reasons why the executive arm should scrap the programme.
The Lawmaker further lamented how the scheme has also contributed to the country’s unemployment rate, noting that some agency and companies prefered to use corps members instead of employing qualified graduates.
Before the House of Representatives bill, many have argued that the NYSC scheme has lost its relevance. Nigerians have raised valid points, which the government and other stakeholders need to look into to determine if the NYSC scheme should be discontinued or sustained.
However, before pointing out the three major loopholes in the NYSC scheme, it is essential to reel out a brief history of the programme and its objectives.
Brief History of NYSC
A former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, founded the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC on 22 May 1973. General Gowon established the scheme to serve as an avenue for the reconciliation, reconstruction and rebuilding of the nation after the civil war.
According to decree No. 24, Gowon established the NYSC scheme to promote National unity.
The scheme is to help the youths appreciate other ethnic groups as corps to mix with people from different ethnic groups. After three weeks of camping, the corps members are posted to their Place of Primary Assignment, PPA, except for one working day devoted to the execution of community development service.
Objectives Of NYSC Scheme
Most definitely, General Gowon had reasons for establishing the NYSC scheme; these reasons could be referred to as the Objectives of the programme.
The Objectives include the inculcation of discipline in Nigerian youths, raising the Nigerian youths’ moral tone by learning about higher ideals of social, cultural improvement and national achievement.
The NYSC scheme aims to develop common ties among the Nigerian youths, promote national unity and integration. The scheme aims to create a sense of corporate existence, among other reasons.
The Major Loopholes In NYSC Scheme
The bad shape of Nigeria’s security architecture is topping the chart among the reasons why many Nigerians have supported the call for the discontinuation of the NYSC scheme.
In recent times, Kidnappers have abducted many innocent Nigerians, kill some people, while they also requested massive sum of money for ransom. There have been reports about how some corps members were abducted while on their way to camps.
The evil perpetrated by bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists had in no small measure created fears in the mind of potential corps members and their parents, who had in the past heard about the killings and abduction of other corps members.
Aside from the worrisome insecurity, the bad shape of many Nigerian roads is also another loophole that had made many Nigerians demanded that government should scrap the scheme.
2.The Shady Logic Behind Redeployment
Though the NYSC scheme allows redeployment for genuine reasons, including health issues, the shady logic behind some redeployment has become worrisome. It undoubtedly jeopardizes the aim of ensuring national unity by going to other states to know more about their culture, food and others.
In a situation whereby a graduate who lived all his life in the southwest region still find a shady way of working, his redeployment to the same area has automatically jeopardized the aim behind the scheme.
3.Lack Of Up to Date Structure
Another thing reason why many Nigerians are demanding the discontinuation of the NYSC scheme is the lack of up to date structure, which could afford the corps members to learn skills that could empower them and make them self sufficient after their service years.
Many had argued that the scheme would have been better if it affords the corps members to take up a skill that could make them become employers of labour instead of job seekers after the mandatory service year.
In this case, the management of NYSC will do better if they could look into the reformation of the scheme, open more space for corps members to take up a more practical skill beyond the Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Department, SAED programme.