NYSC Should be Made Voluntary Says Jega

According to Prof. Attahiru Jega, a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, said the country must either give the funding to require participation in the National Youth Service Corps program going forward or make it voluntary in some other way.


Jega said this while giving a speech earlier on Monday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the NYSC's 50th anniversary celebration, where he served as a guest lecturer.


The service, he continued, must be kept but also repositioned to have a significant impact on national growth, or it won't last for another ten decades.


“If Nigeria wants to do mandatory youth service for all graduates, then Nigeria must provide resources to do just that. Otherwise, you may as well term it to be voluntary or specialised so that you can have maximum value for your little resources.


"We must retain this service, but we must reposition it in such a manner that it can provide not only value for money but also have an even more substantial impact on national progress and development, or else it won’t last the next ten decades.”


"On his part, the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, described the involvement of corps members as ad-hoc staff during elections, since 2011, as “divine intervention”, adding that “the collaboration between NYSC and INEC since 2011 is a watershed in Nigeria’s electoral history, as that has so far institutionalized free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria”.


Additionally, he urged Nigerians to continue supporting the program, particularly its community and rural development initiatives.


Meanwhile, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General YD Ahmed, praised the idea behind the program's establishment and stated that it has become well-known throughout the nation, calling it an example for other African nations.


“For five decades, the scheme has distinguished itself as an effective mobiliser of graduate youths for the promotion of national unity and development in various sectors of our national life. Today, the scheme is a household name in the country and a cherished development brand for youth development.


“I am particularly happy to note that in fulfilling its mandate, the National Youth Service Corps has provided inspiration for sister African countries like Gambia, which helped establish its National Youth Service Scheme, modelled after the NYSC, but with a different structure and operational guidelines"


Other dignitaries present at the occasion include Mr. Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Abdul-Raheem Lawal, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, and Ambassador Fatima Abubakar, Chairperson of the Governing Board of the NYSC.






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