NYSC has achieved fundamental purpose of establishment – Don

By Sani Idris

A Don, Prof. Ahmad Babajo of the Kaduna State University (KASU) says the NYSC scheme has to an extent, achieved its fundamentals in spite of numerous challenges.

Babajo, a lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, said this this on Thursday in Kaduna at the scheme’s 50th anniversary lecture.

The title of the lecture was
“NYSC: Five decades of fostering national unity and development.

He noted that numerous problems and challenges had tended to militate against progress of the NYSC, but had in spite that, united the diverse communities of Nigeria.

The KASU don identified some of the scheme’s challenges to include inadequate monitoring of corps members, perennial under or non-utilisation of their skills.

He also identified discriminatory employment practices in some states where ‘non-indigene’ corps members are not absorbed into work force upon completion of service.

He also listed the almost certain prospect of unemployment that participants faced after the completion of the service year .

Babajo also identified corruption as one major often ignored problem of the scheme, lamenting that it had soiled the image of the NYSC directorate.

“in NYSC official history, the huge corruption uncovered in the early 1980s after a probe, led to the imprisonment of the military head of the scheme and its chief accountant.

“For an organisation created to instill discipline in youth and train them towards national redemption, this uncovering of massive corruption was an indication that whatever was being preached was not shared by those saddled with preaching it,” he lamented.

The don, however, said that in spite all the scheme’s shortcomings, it had enabled Nigerian youths to explore variety of life opportunities beyond their native states and fostered sense of community and worth through interactions with experienced people.

“It provided the youth a unique opportunity of understanding the nature of diversity in Nigeria.

“Without such opportunity, the youth may not appreciate the socio-cultural realities in the contemporary existence in the country.

“Several young men and women met in the course of NYSC scheme and established a lifelong relationship through intermarriage,” he said.

He recommended that the scheme should be strengthened in many ways possible, such as making it to be project- oriented and introducing skill acquisition.

Earlier, The Kaduna Coordinator of NYSC, Mr Hassan Taura, said the 50th anniversary lecture was one of the programmes lined-up to commemorate the NYSC Golden Jubilee Celebration, as approved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the celebration of NYSC 50th anniversary.

Taura recalled that the NYSC 50th celebration which commenced on May 8, with the unity walk across the 36 states and Abuja, would be rounded off on Monday.

The Coordinator noted that the scheme, established in 1973 by Gen. Yakubu Gowon through Decree (now Act) Number 24 of May 22, 1973, was aimed at reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Nigeria from the devastation of three years of civil war.

“We are here today, to celebrate 50 years of the existence of this National unifying scheme, which has made lots of progress in meeting the realities of modern times and has achieved a lot in unifying our great nation,” he said.

(NAN)

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