The Nigerian Senate last week directed the Federal Government to carry out a reorganization of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, just as Senators lamented that the scheme was no longer fulfilling its mandate of entrenching national unity. I wonder though how long these short comings have been around. We hear honor stories of corpers not getting adequate work for year so they end up wasting a year.
The directive was upon the consideration of a motion sponsored by Senator Sahabi Yau and 33 others. Senator Yau, while moving the motion, decried the subjection of Corps members to harsh conditions including poor pays and rejections by government organizations, which contradicts the purpose of the scheme. Yau, would like to increase the condition of the youth involved but the only way he can do that is to increase the basic pay of the members. He said: “This noble national program has recently been buffeted by sundry challenges, including attacks on some of them. These heinous attacks on these youths are compounded by organizations that serially and unjustifiably reject them from undertaking their primary assignment under them.”
Another senators weighed in on the situation: Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who also called for review of the scheme lamented that the system was failing because of lack of proper coordination and planning. According to him, “It is almost criminal for government agencies to reject corps members. But the fact is that number of those being posted has gone up and the agencies are still the same. I think the problem is due to lack of proper coordination by the NYSC. They should be able to carry out periodic reviews know the number of corps members that will be required by agencies before posting.” Before ruling on the motion, Senate President, David Mark lamenting that the Scheme has lost coordination, criticized prospective corps members who influence their postings to towns.
He added that such practice has led to the overcrowding of towns, thereby making most of the corps members redundant without place of
primary assignments. He said, “we are running into series of problems because of this and I believe that that the NYSC at the moment is bedeviled with lack of proper coordination.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and reorganize NYSC in such a way that it original intention of bringing national unity is achieved.” NYSC has always had issues even when our parents served if these issues are not fixed then Nigeria might as well suspend the program.