The Federal government of Nigeria, Tuesday asserted that there is no plan to abolish the National Youth Service Corps scheme.
The Minister of Youth Development and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalong who made this know in Lagos on Tuesday, said the scheme had come to stay, adding that its merits outweighed its demerits.
The minister said this during an inspection tour of the Lagos State NYSC orientation camp in the Iyana Ipaya area of the state on Tuesday.
He stressed that the scheme had not only enhanced the socio-cultural and ethnic integration in the country but had also promoted national unity.
He said, “We cannot dismiss the gains of the NYSC scheme in integrating Nigeria; I will stand firmly for the sustenance of the system, to continue in its capacity-building of Nigeria citizens because it is an indispensable aspect of diversifying our culture.”
He said such graduates would be provided with a start-up capital at the end of the training, which according to him would indirectly stimulate interest in education.
“Apart from the basic orientation programme, the NYSC scheme should also move into including professional and enterprising programmes to support and motivate those who would not want to embrace public services in the country.
“After the mandatory one-year service, the Federal Government is planning an extension, to professionally train interested corps members in skill acquisition, enterprising and professional programmes.
“Corps members with keen interest would be retained and some financial token given to them as start-up capital in furtherance of their skill. This is because due to our research, we find out that people abandon school due to uncertainty of the future. Hence, we believe this would help reduce the unemployed graduate ratio and curtail pressure on white-collar job as a means to win the war against poverty”, he further stated.
Dalong expressed satisfaction over the state of the Lagos NYSC orientation camp, and thanked the Lagos State government for its support for the scheme.
He said, “Nigeria did not plan to have the number of graduates in this present dispensation. If we had planned effectively, the concept of NYSC camping would have started with a permanent and effective structure.
“The visionaries of the scheme did not anticipate the lifespan of the scheme after the Civil War; the implementation of the scheme was a strategy to mobilise and integrate Nigerians together, hence, the huge number of graduates each year has put much pressure on the facilities, calling for constant renovation and upgrading,” the minister said.