OYO: Residents divided over relevance of NYSC
In Oyo State residents are divided on whether or not the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) scheme should remain. Although many admitted that the scheme has lost its relevance, they advocated a review of the system, instead of outright scrapping.
Mrs Beatrice Oriola, who works at the Ministry of Defence, said the scheme should not be stopped. She said: “If there is any problem in the system, it should be addressed adequately. The fact that it is not working does not mean it would not work again. The scheme unifies the country, it allows us as a nation to understand and respect our various ethnic groups. If there are shortcomings or abuses, it should be reformed to enhance the system.”
She noted that things cannot continue to be as they are since the scheme was established in 1973, Oriola agreed that it should be modified to reflect the changes and development in the nation.“If it is scraped, what will be the fate of the NYSC workers? Would they start looking for jobs? She queried.
For Awoyomi Morenikeji, a teacher, the scheme provides an avenue for tackling unemployment, as it positively engages the youths. Besides, she noted that some of the corps members are retained by organisations where they served, in addition to exposing them to other cultures.
On his part, the Director of Public Communications, Lead City University, Dr. Ayobami Owolabi said, looking at the scheme, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Rather than scrapping the scheme, he said, government can reduce the duration from one year to six months.
“Again, government should modify the way it is being run. They should even modify it from the cultural orientation to inculcate military training into it, yes, you can say during the orientation period, we have some military personnel that train them, but the training should be thorough, like the one they do in Israel. We are not saying Nigeria is going to be at war or we are going to war, but it should be for personal safety. For me, the NYSC is still relevant, it has not lost its benefits,” he said
But for Ibukun Samuel, a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, said the scheme has outlived its usefulness, hence should be scrapped.
Samuel who has been at home since March, waiting for his call up letter said, there are two outstanding batches waiting to be called for service and doubted if his set could participate this year. With the time wasted sitting at home and inability of government to properly fund the scheme, Samuel believes the scheme should be scrapped and the funds channeled towards other projects.
In the same vein, Bukola Olojede, a 400 level student of the University of Ibadan (UI) said: “The programme should be scrapped, the lives of corps members are at risk. The aims and objectives of the scheme have been defeated. Some Nigerians are also embezzling the money in the system. Funny enough after service, some of the graduates are seen roaming the streets without jobs. Funds for the scheme should be used to create jobs for the teeming youths in the country.”
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