Very soon, fresh graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions will be at liberty to participate in the National Youth Service scheme. According to a press statement released Wednesday by the special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina, Director-General General of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Brigadier-General Johnson Olawumi during a presidential briefing Wednesday, informed President Buhari that plans are on the way to make the service voluntary due to the increasing number of prospective Corp members annually coupled with the lack of adequate fund to carter for their welfare.
According to Brigadier-General Olawumi, if fresh graduates are allowed to choose whether to participate in the scheme or not, the number of prospective Corp members will decrease thereby making it easier to manage the scheme efficiently.
The statement further disclosed that the officials of the ministry of youth development led by the Permanent Secretary Mrs Rabi Jimeta briefed President Buhari on the inability of NYSC to adequately carter for Corp members due to high increase in their population and inadequate funds for the scheme. Mrs. Jimeta told the President that the increasing number of NYSC participants posed a challenge to the scheme due to the dwindling revenue, from the national budget, to cater for their needs. She told the President that the annual enrolment of corps participants had increased from 2,364 at inception in 1974 to 229,016 in 2014.
“Given the increasing number of tertiary institutions, our projection is that the number of corps participants may rise to 300,000 by year 2020,’’ she said.
Responding, president Muhammadu Buhari pledged that his administration will take all necessary actions to maintain and improve the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme as a functional vehicle for the promotion of national unity and integration.
The President affirmed his confidence and trust in the programme, saying that the objective for which the scheme was established in 1973 was still very relevant for national development now.
“I firmly believe in NYSC and I think it should remain a national programme to promote integration.
“Whenever I go home to Daura, I look out for Corps members from Lagos, Aba and other parts of the country.
“I am always thrilled to learn that except for the NYSC, some of them have never left their states of origin to visit other cities in the country,” President Buhari said
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