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Why agric should be focal point for NYSC

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Agriculture

Sir: Since General Yakubu Gowon established the National Youth Service Corps Decree No 24 of 22nd May 1973, the scheme has recorded laudable feats nationwide primarily in the areas of rural development, education and achievement of national cohesion.

That is not to say that there have not been challenges along the way. Many youth corps members have paid the supreme sacrifice under different circumstances.

Yet, it needs to be said that their sacrifice has not been in vain.

Under various leaderships, the NYSC has remained committed in fulfilling its mandate of selfless service to the nation and promoting the spirit of oneness and brotherhood among Nigerians irrespective of cultural or social background.

It has acquitted itself so well on this score to the extent that graduates look forward to their one-year national service as a rite of passage.

The new policy for mass posting of youth corp members to farms and other agriculture related ventures has been so well received.

This development is a good response for these times when Nigeria’s revenue base is in urgent need of diversification from oil.

This writer believes that the posting should be more embracing.

While those from core Agriculture related courses should make up the bulk of those on the farms, corp members from other disciplines who signify interest in farming should also be mobilised for the effort.

One makes bold to say that farming is not rocket science.

And if Nigerians in rural areas can make a success of their own agricultural efforts, it stands to reason that educated young Nigerians of whatever discipline need no more than some basic training and encouragement to enable them do well in this field.

Let’s not forget that even before the NYSC decided on agriculture, quite a number of young Nigerians have opted for farming or agro- related ventures.

One clear fallout of the implementation of this policy is that sooner, with aggressive approach to the implementation of this policy, young, vibrant Nigerians can be counted on to harvest the possibilities from every point along the agriculture value chain.

It is hoped that other government agencies that were created to enhance the productivity level of our bourgeoning youth population will come up with commensurate initiatives that can help the young people of Nigeria actualise their massive potential.

Onuwa Lucky Joseph is a communications expert, lives in Abuja.


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