By Ajeigbe Tunmise Joseph
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a programme set up by the Nigerian government to involve Nigerian graduates in nation-building and the development of the country. There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973, graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme for one year, this is known as the national service year.
Nigerian graduates are ineligible for employment in governmental establishments (and most private establishments) until they have completed the mandatory one year service or obtained the relevant exemptions. Graduates who are exempted from the service include those above the age of thirty and those with a physical disability may be exempted from the program.
A vital certification youth programme that is compulsory for employment should not be handled with a mere hand, a reasonable government should have proper considerations and uttermost responsibility for such a programme.
The cries and lamentations of many Nigerian youth (prospective corps member, PCM) that have registered for the NYSC programme in batch A, and have not been deployed to their prospective states of national service before the outbreak of Covid-19 has been the most trending topic in the nation.
Most PCMs are complaining that the current government is wasting their precious time, and they may probably expire for good employment at some certain age. Some employment specifications, however, consider younger graduate from the age of 22 to the age 27. Ages above that are not often considered for an employment opportunity in Nigeria.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in Nigeria, most programmes such as general meetings, academic lectures, conferences, church programmes, workshops, webinars, and training, etc. have taken place virtually online, with an online software application.
Numerous tertiary institutions in Nigeria have also adopted the style to host most of their academic programmes virtually online. Adeleke University, a private university at Ede in Osun state observed its year 2020 convocation virtually online. Moreso, UNIOSUN (Osun), FUOYE (Ekiti), ADUN (Delta state), NOUN (Nationwide), etc. also hosted their matriculation virtually online.
Virtual online means of educating is the topmost alternative activity to reduce the spread of Covid-19 infection in Nigeria.
In my personal opinion, I suggest that all orientation activities can also be observed virtually online across the 774 local governments. It should be scheduled and coordinated in each local government area that is convenient for each PCM.
The NYSC documentation can be arranged together with kitting processes and the payment of orientation arrears in each local government secretariats, every procedural step must be done to adhere to measures and the safety to fight against the spread of Covid-19 infection in Nigeria.
The time factor is very important in the roles of development most in the developed countries, I hereby huge brigadier general Shuaibu Ibrahim (director-general of NYSC), Mr. Sunday Dare (honorable minister of youth and sports development) and other authorized parastatals to consider my opinion and to work on vast policies that will save the time of concerned Nigerian youth.
The bright future of Nigeria depends on the Nigerian youth of today. Let us allow the privileged ones among them who have spent years in the tertiary institutions at both home and abroad to carry out their obligation as a noble citizen of Nigeria as our known culture, to serve their fathers’ land based on time economy before the time will no longer be in their favour.
AJEIGBE TUNMISE JOSEPH