Shuaibu Ibrahim, director-general of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) says the scheme is “critical to the unity of the country”.
He stated that the scheme is not a waste of time, adding that its relevance in integration and national cohesion must not be underestimated.
The brigadier-general spoke on Wednesday in his office in Abuja in reaction to a move by House of Representatives to scrap the scheme.
It would be recalled that a bill seeking the scrap of the one-year mandatory scheme for all graduates passed second reading in the House on Monday.
The sponsor of the bill, Mr Awaji-Inombek Abiante, in the explanatory memorandum of the proposal, listed the various reasons why the NYSC should be scrapped.
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Abiante said the scheme has failed to achieve its intended purpose and therefore should be discontinued.
He also expressed that the scheme has led to the untimely death of some corps members who were posted to areas with serious security threats.
However, in his reactions the DG said NYSC has been a useful tool for the socio-economic development of the country through the deployment of corps members to states outside their base.
He expressed that the corps members contribute in many ways to the lives of residents of their host communities.
NYSC is not a waste of time, wherever corps members are posted to, they have been adding value in order to be remembered with good legacies.
Speaking about the insecurity in the nation, the NYSC DG added that the scheme has partnered with security agencies to ensure adequate protection for corps members during their service year.
He said corps members will also be educated on the importance of being security conscious while in their host communities.
Security is everybody’s business and security challenge is not limited to NYSC alone.
We want to appeal to parents to help us also sensitise their children not to endanger their safety. Every country has challenges but we should turn our challenge into opportunities.
He added that the NYSC’s posting and deployment policy is based on strict guidelines and regulations.
The NYSC DG expressed;
Posting, redeployment and other services are free in NYSC. Relocation is done on health and marital grounds with genuine reasons.
Parents should teach their children to be patriotic and have human feeling. Let the spirit of NYSC be in use for the betterment of our country.
Ibrahim advised corps members to utilise their service year judiciously and impact their host communities.