Following rising insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has suspended the scheme in the three North-eastern states, stating that any corps member who flouted this directive should be ready to face the consequences of his or her action.
The Director-General of NYSC, Brig-General Johnson Olawumi, stated this in Calabar yesterday while fielding questions from reporters shortly after the commencement of the annual management conference of the scheme holding in the Cross River State capital.
He said the statement had become necessary following the discovery that some stubborn corps members posted outside the violence-prone states sometimes travelled there to make more money doled out by the three state governments to attract them.
He said until normalcy returned to these three states, the management of NYSC would not post graduates of tertiary educational institutions there as the scheme was not ready to lose any corps member on national assignment to the activities of Boko Haram as witnessed in the past few years.
“The NYSC is mindful of the security situation in the country. The states where we have security challenges we will deliberately not post corps members there. But any corps member who deliberately goes there to serve is doing so on his own volition. They do that on their own because we do not officially send corps members to those troubled states.
“I want to emphasise that those three states are part of Nigeria. Our prayer is that peace returns to those places as soon as possible so that corps members who want to explore those places would have the opportunity of doing so,” the director general said.
Olawumi maintained that the focus of the NYSC programme, given the high level of unemployment in the country, was how to make corps members become self-sufficient after undergoing training on Integrated Entrepreneurship Development (IED) facilitated by the scheme.
“We have repositioned the scheme to address the current unemployment in the country so that after the service year, corps members can become self employed and self reliant. We want them to become useful to themselves rather than being idle after serving their fatherland,” he said.
The Chairman of NYSC Governing Board, Chief Gordon Bozimo, in his speech, said in the last 41 years, the NYSC scheme had contributed meaningfully to Nigeria’s socio-economic development and had undergone transformation, all which had impacted positively on the image of the country.
He revealed that under his leadership in the last one year, the board had taken steps to add value to the operation of the scheme through “the constructive engagement of state governments for sustainable development of physical infrastructure at the orientation camps and provision of other statutory support to the scheme”.