Don advocates upward review of corp members’ allowance

By Sunday John

A Lecturer at the Federal University of Lafia, Dr Linda Kwon-Dong, has advocated an upward review of the monthly allowance for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members.

Kwon-Dong, who teaches Political Science, made the call on Thursday in Lafia, while delivering a lecture to commemorate the scheme’s 50th anniversary.

She said that given the present economy realities, the N34,000 monthly allowance to corp members was grossly inadequate.

Kwon-Dong, who was a Guest Lecturer at the event, made a case for corps members to be paid something substantial.

According to her, corp members should be paid an amount that would enable them to feed and be able to save to set up a business and become self-reliant and employers of labour.

She said that given the increasing rate of unemployment in the country, the government should assist corps members with the fund to start businesses at the end of their service year.

Kwon-Dong, represented by Prof. Emmanuel Kwon-Dong of the Department of Plant Science, lauded NYSC for the opportunity it offers young Nigerian graduates “to socialise at the orientation camp and impact on their host communities through community development service”.

She further said that the scheme had contributed immensely in every aspect of the nation’s life, ranging from education to health, sanitation and infrastructure, among others.

She also advocated improved funding to the scheme by the Federal Government to enable it to better the welfare of corp members.

Earlier in an address of welcome, the Nasarawa State Coordinator of NYSC, Mr Abdullahi Jikamshi, thanked all the corp members and guests for being part of the anniversary celebration.

Jikamshi said that the scheme created by Decree 24 of May 22, 1973 had undergone transformation and captured the attention of the youths.

He also said that the scheme, which started with 2,364 corp members, now mobilises at least 300,000 annually across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He said that during the three-week orientation course, corp members were taken on discipline, improved physical and mental health, social and leadership skills as well as entrepreneurship training.

Jikamshi further said that the scheme had helped to render services, including the construction of bridges, free healthcare, adult literacy education and extramural lessons in the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

He said that some corp members, who met during the service year, got married, while some set up private schools and medical facilities, among others in the state.

In a goodwill message, Gov. Abdullahi Sule, represented by Alphonsus Maikeffi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties, Legal Matters and Youth Affairs, commended NYSC for its contributions to the state.

The governor promised to continue to give priority to corps members’ welfare and support the scheme where necessary for smooth operation in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some ex-corps members, who had established businesses and settled in the state, took turn to testify about their pleasant experiences.

The event also featured the presentation of awards to the best employee of corp members, best NYSC friendly LG and best staff, among others.


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