The former Head of State and founder of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme, Gen Yakubu Gowon(Rtd) has commended the management of the Scheme for the grooming of successive batches of youth Corps Members for national development.
He posited that the contributions of the NYSC Scheme as a catalyst of socio-economic development of the country cannot be over emphasised.
Gen Gowon made this disclosure when the Director-General of the NYSC paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
Going down the memory lane, Gowon recalled that the Scheme which was initially rejected at inception has turned out to become the largest youth – mobilisation agency in Nigeria, providing youths with the necessary platform to contribute their own quota towards national development in the spheres of Health, Education, Infrastructure, Agriculture, in addition to national assignments such as general elections, census, expanded programme on immunization, among others.
Gen. Gowon also commended the security architecture that was provided for Corps Members especially during their recent participation in the Bayelsa and Kogi State elections whereby there was no casualty involving any Corps Member.
The former of Head of State was full of praises for the Scheme for the introduction of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme into the Orientation course content, which he noted as an effective tool for youth – empowerment and direct answer to youth unemployment.
He lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and other stakeholders that have assisted Corps entrepreneurs with loans which have helped them in establishing their businesses, thereby transforming them into wealth creators and employers of labour.
While briefing the NYSC founding father, Brig Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim revealed that the NYSC management has intensified efforts aimed at sanitising the Scheme’s mobilisation process, so as to eliminate the prospects of unqualified Nigerians being mobilised for service.
He added that some of the unqualified graduates that were arrested during the 2019 Batch ‘B’ Orientation Course have been handed over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
The NYSC boss further disclosed that during the last verification of credentials of foreign – trained graduates, out of over 20,000 of them that uploaded their certificates, only 3,420 showed up for the exercise, having been forewarned to steer clear of the exercise if they parade questionable credentials.
Gen.Ibrahim added that the Scheme has also intensified efforts at sensitising the various tiers of government on their obligations to the NYSC Scheme, particularly in respect of establishing NYSC State Governing Boards, as well as Local Government Committees which have welfare of Corps Members as their cardinal thrusts.
The DG also said the Scheme has enlightened State Governments on the need for provision of befitting Orientation Camps and regular maintenance of the facilities which would enable hitch-free Orientation Course.
The Director-General hinted that awareness was also being created on the NYSC Act and the need for qualified foreign and Nigerian trained graduates to make themselves available for service immediately after graduation as enshrined in the Act.
The 18th Chief Executive of NYSC enthused that he would want to leave behind a Scheme that generality of Nigerians would be proud of and happy to identify with.