A bill seeking the proscription of the NYSC was recently introduced and has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
PROPONENTS of the bill in the green chambers of parliament based their stance on the spate of insecurity that has engulfed the nation and the danger faced by Corps members serving in risk-prone locations, with many of them having already been killed.
THE National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was established by the Federal Government in 1973 to help reconcile and reintegrate Nigerians after the civil war. Initially, participants in the scheme were drawn from graduates of tertiary institutions, from College of Education upwards; but is now limited to holders of First Degree and Higher National Diploma.
EMPHASIS on the posting of Corps members to locations outside of their state of origin was a critical decision that enhanced the reintegration of the Nigerian youths, with cultural exchange, social and economic integration as realities of a successful outcome of the scheme.
BUT before this bill, many who had made submissions on the operation of NYSC since its inception had focused on ways to make it more effective, with hardly a consideration for its proscription. It is, however, in the face of insecurity in the nation that some parents started demanding that the scheme be discontinued, except with the assurance of safety for corps members.
FROM this background, it is obvious that reservations on the continued existence of the scheme border mainly on insecurity. Therefore, a more appropriate focus should be on ways to secure Nigeria against banditry and insurgency that currently grip the nation resulting into a general outcry as well as agitations for secession, restructuring, fiscal federalism, etc.
INDEED, NYSC represents a unifying institution for Nigeria, with Corps members under the scheme exposed to new environments that some of them are reluctant to quit after service because of attractions that they never before envisaged.
THE VOICE therefore, calls on members of the National Assembly to have a rethink on the bill seeking to proscribe the NYSC and instead seek ways of strengthening the scheme.