Former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, says the National Youth Service Corps is one of the best schemes introduced by the military and should be sustained.
Jega said this yesterday in Abuja while delivering the 50th anniversary lecture of the NYSC with the theme: ‘NYSC: Five Decades of Fostering National Unity and Development.’
According to him, there is no doubt that the NYSC has substantially achieved the objectives for which it was established.
He said “certainly, there have been a lot of accomplishments in the area of national integration and nation building.
“The young men and women have contributed to the Nigerian economy as professionals who have just graduated from universities or tertiary institutions and who are providing cheap labour and national service.”
Jega said he was instrumental to the fostering of relationship between INEC and NYSC to ensure greater involvement and participation of youth corps members in electoral process.
He, however, said that to sustain the scheme and reposition it for optimal performance, its challenges must be addressed.
He listed the challenges to include dwindling resources amid more enrolment of participants and the need to target the energy of the youths toward national development.
Jega urged government at all levels to ensure adequate security for corps members, insure their lives and increase funding for the scheme.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said since its establishment 50 years ago, the story of NYSC had been that of growth, progress and expansion.
Osinbajo, represented by the Minister for Power, Abubakar Aliyu, said the scheme recorded numerous achievements, especially in the promotion of national unity and integration.
He pledged Federal Government’s commitment to youth development through policies and programmes that would empower them not only for economic survival, but also for future leadership roles.
NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, said further appreciation of the pivotal role played by the scheme in national development, some other African countries, desirous of the NYSC model had visited on a study tour to find out how they could replicate a similar scheme. NAN