The call for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has suffered a setback as the House of Representatives, Thursday said it would not support the move to abolish the scheme.
A House of Representatives member, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, had in a Bill that has passed the second reading in the National Assembly called for the scrapping of the scheme founding to 48 years ago to boost national integration.
But, Chairman, House Committee on Youth, Yemi Adaramodu, said the National Assembly has no plan to abolish the NYSC.
According to him, the NYSC is the most successful national programme.
Adaramodu who disclosed this at the unveiling of Nine (9) books on the National Youth Service Corps, as well as the Film, “A Call To Service” said “Anybody is free to sponsor a bill, but the speaker and the rest of the house believe that the scheme has come to stay in Nigeria.
“The scheme is going nowhere and it is not the plan of the National Assembly to scrap it. I want to let you know that we are with you and for you. We are fully with you, we are together.
He noted that the scheme which recently marked its forty-eight anniversary has remained the most successful national programme.
In his address, former head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon advocated for the establishment of the National Youth Service Trust Fund to cater for the financial empowerment of corps members as they pass out from service.
He said the fund would help them to establish their vocational businesses with the skills they acquire from the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme in the course of service.
Gowon, who spoke virtually at the event, said contrary to calls against the scrapping of the scheme it is making a significant impact on the development of the country.
He said the scheme is one of the best things that has happened to Nigeria, adding that it is exposing youths to life-changing opportunities and has contributed immensely to the development of the country.
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brig. Gen. Ibrahim lamented some challenges facing the scheme despite huge success mailing arising from the gap in the discharge of the obligations of stakeholders.
“Despite various challenges in its forty-eight years of operation, the NYSC has been a remarkable success. By largely discharging its mandate through the nation’s development objectives, the Scheme has become a national asset and a beacon of hope to Nigerian youths,” Ibrahim said.
“Accomplishments made on NYSC platform have strengthened the belief that youths can make meaningful contributions to national unity and development if their talents and skills are properly harnessed.”
However, he noted that problems such as inadequate office accommodation for state Secretariats as well as zonal and local government offices of the scheme and the establishment of the Service Trust Fund will support the adequate provision of infrastructural and other logistics for Orientation and other activities of the Scheme need to be addressed.
The president of the Historical Society of Nigeria, Prof Okpeh Okpeh, while reviewing the books said NYSC is one of the significant institutions that is holding us together. “It is significant to Nigeria’s development from a point that covers intermarriage to the unity of Nigeria,” noting that without the NYSC our national health sector would have collapsed.
He said NYSC has continuously demonstrated that it is in a good position to take this country to a greater height through its skill and entrepreneurship programme which was introduced in 2012.
“It is changing the labour market in contemporary Nigeria. It may not be contributing monies into the coffers of Nigeria but it is contributing immensely to national development,” Okpeh said.