The National Youth Service Corps has organised a Sensitization Workshop to educate Nigerians on its enabling act which would guide them on their roles and expectations for the Scheme.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the workshop with theme, “NYSC: Call to Service”, held in Abuja, the founder of NYSC, General Yakubu Gowon, who was represented by the Pioneer Director of NYSC, Col. Ahmadu Ali, commended NYSC Management for its foresight in organising the workshop as it would provide appropriate guidance to all stakeholders.
He said the NYSC Scheme which was founded over forty-six years ago has remained relevant as one of the most enduring National Institutions.
The former Head of State stated that though the Scheme, which was initially greeted by misgivings at its inception did not take so long before it was accepted by Nigerans especially the youths.
“The major objectives of the Scheme has remained same and relevant to the contemporary needs of the country. I have no doubt in my mind that this initiative of educating Nigerians on the Act will go a long way in consolidating the successes already achieved”.
“When my administration established the National Youth Service Corps with the promulgation of Decree. No. 4 of 22nd May, 1973, the objective was to ensure that Nigeria remained an indivisible entity that would be focused on sustainable development”.
“The Decree, which is now an Act, makes participation in the National Service mandatory for all eligible graduates, the Act also spells out sanctions for evasion of service and illegal participation”, Gowon said.
He expressed his delight at the contributions of the Scheme to National Development in the areas of education, health, agriculture, infrastructure among others.
Gowon added that his interaction with Corps Members has revealed how the service corps has broadened their knowledge about Nigeria and also strengthened their belief in the country.
He enjoined participants at the workshop to use the forum for further the appraisal of the Scheme’s performances and also set agenda for its contributions to the growth and development of the country in the next decades.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Olusade Adesola commended the Scheme for its unifying roles among the ethnic groups within the country.
He warned Nigerians against service evasion and Corps Producing Institutions against mobilization of unqualified graduates.
NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim in his address called on Nigerians to familiarize themselves with the NYSC Act for better understanding of the policies and operations of the NYSC Scheme.
He decried some stakeholders’ non-compliance with regulations on NYSC’s Mobilization of Corps Members and Exemption from Service.
The Director-General also reminded States and Local Governments about their obligations to the Scheme, especially with regards to the provision and maintenance of Orientation Camps, Corps Members’ Lodges, and other essential welfare facilities including office accommodation for the Scheme.
“The NYSC Act spelt it in clear terms the roles of stakeholders in such areas as the provision of essential facilities as well as the security and general welfare of Corps Members”, the DG said.
Ibrahim urged Nigerian graduates of universities and other tertiary Institutions, both local and foreign-trained, to familiarize
themselves with the relevant provisions of the NYSC Act to avoid infractions that may hunt them either on the spur of the moment or in future.
“I consider it appropriate to remind professional bodies who have been inundating us with requests of Posting of Corps Members to specific areas of endeavours for primary assignments that such requests are not in tandem with the provisions of the NYSC Act from which our posting policy is derived”.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Corps Members are assigned to serve in areas where their services are required in line with national needs with priority given to rural transformation”, the DG added.