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NYSC At 50: VP charges the scheme to engage more on rural development


The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has charged the Nigeria Youth Corps (NYSC) to engage more in community and rural development, as well call for support of Nigerians for the scheme.

Osinbajo who made the call in Abuja during the opening ceremony to mark the celebration of NYSC’s 50th anniversary, said the scheme is critical not only to Nigeria ‘s unity but economic development.

Vice President, who was represented by the minister of power , Abubakar Aliyu said promoting rural development would improve the standard of living of citizens, stressing that the scheme is a critical tool for overall national unity and development.

“Since it’s establishment, the story of the NYSC have been that of growth , progress and expansion, it has recorded numerous achievements , including the promotions of national unity and integration, as well as intervention on critical areas of national economy, such as education, agricultural development, science and technology and other sectors”.

” There is no doubt that since it’s inception 50 years ago , the NYSC has continued to play critical role in unity of the nation , the community development project have improved living standard of the rural dwellers”.

He commended the activities of NYSC and the corp members participation as ad-hoc staff in conducting elections since 2011 as divine intervention, this according to him, no doubt salvaged Nigeria ‘s electoral system which was labeled by some Mal practice in the previous elections.

” The collaboration between NYSC and INEC since 2011 is a watershed in Nigeria ‘s electoral history as that so far institutionalized free,fair and credible elections in Nigeria “.

Earlier, the Director General of NYSC , Yusha’u Ahmed said the scheme has distinguished itself as an effective mobilizer of graduate youths for the promotion of national unity and development in various sectors of national life, and has become a household name in the country, as well a global brand for youth development in the last past five decades .

” In 50 years, the NYSC has effectively discharged its mandate, overcome operational challenges under several administrations to stand the test of time. This is better appreciated against the backdrop of the fact that some institutions that were established about the same time the NYSC birthed, or much after have gone under, being unable to weather the storms of existential threats”, he said.

He particularly expressed excitement on the fact that the NYSC has provided inspiration for sister African countries like Gambia which it helped establish its National Youth Service Scheme, modelled after the NYSC, but with a different structure and operational guidelines.

“In further appreciation of the pivotal role played by the Corps in national development, some other African countries, desirous of the NYSC model have visited the Scheme on a study tour to find out how they can replace a similar Scheme in their domains”, he added.

In his lecture, Prof. Attahiru Jega, former Chairman of the independent National Electoral Commission and a former chairman of the NYSC governing board, said the 50th anniversary celebration is a time for sober reflection, while noting that the scheme has mobilized over 5 million youths between 1973 and 2020.

While commending the scheme for substantially achieving its mandate, he however noted that some challenges needs to be addressed to ensure better success of the scheme. He recommended that the Nigerian government should commit more funding and entrench accountability, improve welfare/stipends of corps members, improve their security, prioritize its objectives for optimal performance, among others.

“The future of the scheme is very bright, if the challenges are addressed, it has a prospect of playing greater role. It would also depend in the extent to which we identify the challenges and appropriately reposition it in line with global best practices”, he said

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