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Edo: Parents, students groan over NYSC delays


NYSCLoveth Ikhime said she finished from a public university in Edo State for over two years now, as it took her a whole year to get her result computed because of a carry-over she had in year three. And now, a year after, she is yet to be mobilised for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
She said her former mates who graduated a year ago, are through with their national assignment, while those of them with hitches, are still waiting to be called for service.
Her greatest worry is that if she is not mobilised by February, she would be 30 years old and won’t be qualified to be part of the programme. “I’m really interested in going for the service. That was one of the reasons I did not enroll in a part-time programme when I got one, some years ago. I was told then that graduates of the programme do not partake in the national service. It is quite frustrating.”

Ikhime is not alone in this situation, as there are many prospective corps members roaming the streets, waiting for their mobilisation for the programme.
The challenge of timely mobilisation of new corps members has remained a source of concern to both prospective corps members and parents.A distraught parent, Mr Johnbull Uhunamure told The Guardian that he is not comfortable seeing his 27 year-old son loafing around for lack of something to do, waiting for his call-up letter to be part of the programme. He fears he may fall into bad peer group pressure. “He is waiting for his call-up letter, but I am not comfortable seeing him around and idle. I have tried to get job as a stop-gap but there are no jobs here, so I just pray that he gets his call-up letter on time, at least, that will engage him”
While residents agreed on the essence of the scheme, which is for national integration, they are concerned that it is becoming a national headache. For instance, Lucky Isibor, a senior journalist is opposed to the call for scrapping the scheme. He said: “I did my national service in 1984, in present Imo State, and there I learnt so many new things about the cultural differences and similarities among our people. I also learnt various aspects of cultures of my fellow corps members who served in that area from other parts of the country. I think what the scheme needs is more funding and facilities to clear the backlog and then take care of the members. However, what is important, is for the economy to be revived, so that when these young persons come out, there will be work for them.”   

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