Over 100 pro-Nigeria Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the auspices of Nigeria First, have warned against scrapping the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, stating that it will be a disservice to the country.
Elanza News reports that there have been suggestions for the government to scrap the NYSC scheme as according to the proponent, the scheme which involves one leaving his or her state of origin to another, endangers the lives of the young graduates.
The NYSC scheme was established by Gen Yakubu Gowon in 1973 to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war.
But speaking at a world press conference addressed by their convener, Comrade Richard Augustine, said Nigerians must express caution in discussing issues that affect the country’s unity.
“Nigeria First wishes to reiterate that the call for the scrapping of the NYSC is a misnomer and should be disregarded by concerned stakeholders, including parents and guardians, as the novel introductions in the NYSC in recent times have been impactful in our quest for socio-economic growth and development.
“There are indeed tales of how the interventions of corp members have saved the country from national embarrassment. A good example was the strike action by resident doctors in the country that left patients in public hospitals across the country stranded. However, the intervention of NYSC doctors and nurses saved the situation in what could have been a national health crisis, ” Augustine said.
According to the CSOs, “There are also numerous tales of the intervention of corp members in the educational and agricultural sectors and many more that have elicited commendations from far and near, which is a testament to the strategic relevance of NYSC now and in the future.
“We wish to state in unequivocal terms that the NYSC must not be scrapped, as it would amount to a great disservice to the country if such a brilliant initiative is sacrificed on the altar of selfish aggrandizement by some vested interests in the country. ”
According to the groups, their support for the operations and reforms in the NYSC remains unflinching as worthy partners in progress adding that they believed that with the right incentives, the NYSC would remain that critical agency that would address the challenges experienced by youths in the country to transform their hopes and aspirations into tangible realities.
“The NYSC is critical to the growth and development of the country, and the advocates for its scrapping must come to terms with the national interest. There is indeed a need for caution in Nigeria’s national discourse on the NYSC, ” the groups added.