President Muhammadu Buhari has granted automatic employment in the Federal Civil Service to 65 former members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The President disclosed this on Thursday while speaking at the NYSC 50th Anniversary Honours Award held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
President Buhari, who highlighted numerous achievements of the scheme since its establishment 50 years ago, said out of the 65 recipients, 52 individuals received the Presidential Honours Awards, while the remaining 13 were physically challenged ex-Corps Members recognized under the NYSC Hope Alive programme.
In addition to the employment, President Buhari said both groups would be awarded scholarships to pursue their education up to the Doctorate Degree level at any university of their choice within the country.
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He announced a cash prize of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000.00) for each of the top award winners, and Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00) for other award recipients, including the physically challenged ex-Corps members under the NYSC Hope Alive Programme.
Consequently, the President issued a directive to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, the Federal Civil Service Commission, and the Honourable Minister of Education to ensure adherence to the employment offer and the granting of scholarships.
President Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, paid tribute to Corps Members from the batches being honoured, who lost their lives under various circumstances while serving the nation.
The President also sympathized with the ex-corps members that sustained varying degrees of disability during the service year, acknowledging their significant sacrifices for the progress of the country and assuring them that the nation stands in solidarity with them.
“Your labour shall not be in vain,” he said.
President Buhari praised all Nigerians who had answered the call for National Service in the past fifty years for their patriotic zeal and commitment to the NYSC mandate.
He stressed that it had justified its establishment as an interventionist agency, with a core mandate to foster national unity across the country, thereby breaking down ethnic suspicions and divisions.
“The multiplicity of marriages contracted over the years by Corps Members, cutting across the boundaries of ethnicity and religion in no small measure, justifies my assertion,” he said.
President Buhari also expressed his deep appreciation to General (Dr.) Yakubu Gowon, the founding father of the Scheme, who conceived the idea of the Corps and brought it to fruition on May 22, 1973.
The President commended the NYSC management for its efforts in revenue generation and encouraged them to sustain their commitment.
He also appreciated the Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers implemented by the NYSC and recognized the support of the First Lady, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, who donated a well-equipped ambulance for the operation of the NYSC Mobile Clinic.
President Buhari called on individuals and corporate bodies to emulate this gesture to enhance access to quality healthcare, especially in rural communities.
Regarding ongoing discussions on the need to reinvent the NYSC through the establishment of a Trust Fund, President Buhari said he has been ‘‘briefed adequately’’ on the matter and commended the management for the initiative.
He pledged his support for any genuine effort aimed at assisting the Scheme in achieving its time-tested objectives.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, listed the N75bn NYIF, the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), and the National Young Farmers’ Scheme (NYFS) as enduring legacies of the Buhari administration’s deep commitment to the well-being and development of Nigerian youth.