The bill on the discontinuation of the National Youth Service Corps has reached the second reading in the House of Representatives.
Sponsored by the lawmaker representing Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency of Rivers State, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, in the explanatory memorandum of the proposal, the bill listed various reasons why the NYSC should be scrapped.
It said the NYSC has led to the “incessant killing of innocent corps members in some parts of the country due to banditry, religious extremism and ethnic violence; incessant kidnapping of innocent corps members across the country.”
“Public and private agencies/departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths, thus relying heavily on the availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year without any hope of being gainfully employed.
“Due to insecurity across the country, the National Youth Service Corps management now gives considerations to posting corps members to their geopolitical zone, thus defeating one of the objectives of setting up the service corps, i.e. developing common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.”
The bill is seeking the alteration of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alteration Bill, 2020.
The youth service, which started on May 22, 1973, was established during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon under Decree No. 24 of 1973.
NYSC was established to reconcile and reintegrate Nigerians after the Nigerian civil war.
However, the Director-General of the National
Youth Service Corps, Brig.Gen Shuaibu
Ibrahim has given reasons for the sustenance of the post graduate scheme, saying corps members are part of the national defence policy of Nigeria and can be mobilised for war if need be. Ibrahim said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily’ programme on Wednesday while reacting to moves to scrap the NYSC scheme which is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate before the age of 30. The NYSC boss said, “Corps members are on reserve. They are part of the national defence policy of this country. So, where there is serious war, our corps members Nigerians to train them quickly to put in their best for the country? So, corps members are on reserve. They are also part of the national defence policy.” He said the NYSC is concerned about the security of corps members and that is why they had been advised not to move around at night. Ibrahim argued that the NYSC had become more important than ever in the face of the rising calls for secession.