NYSC @50: FG set to improve welfare, allowances of corps members

NYSC @50: FG set to improve welfare, allowances of corps members

By Folasade Akpan, Abuja.


As the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) prepares to celebrate 50 years of existence, the Federal Government is considering improving the welfare of corps members, including their allowances.


The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, while fielding questions from newsmen after the inauguration of the NYSC@50 Anniversary Committee.


Dare said that that the management of the NYSC had sent a proposal on the improvement of the uniform of the corps members and the increase of their allowances.


“That is already with the President and if that gets the approval, even Skills Acquisition Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) training would go beyond three weeks and will be through the entire youth service.


“So, those are areas that are covered and we believe that this committee will also make recommendations on reforms and improvements, not just for the welfare but also for the system of the NYSC that keeps the engine running.”


The minister said that the NYSC, which was established on May 22, 1973, had made a huge impact on the nation’s education and health sectors.


Dare stressed that the Federal Government recognised the roles of Nigerian youths, especially members of the NYSC, in the nation’s social, economic and political development; hence the desire to celebrate the 50 years’ of the existence of the scheme.


He said: “It is gratifying to note that the SAED programme of the scheme is stirring the interest of corps members for self-employment and wealth creation.


“The scheme must be celebrated for its remarkable achievements in the promotion of national unity and integration, development of education, healthcare delivery, as well as social and infrastructural development, through its primary assignment and community development services.


“From mere 2,300 youth corps members, we have grown to between 350,000 to 400,000 youth corps members annually, in the last 50 years.


“Overall, the scheme has been able to pass close to eight million corps members in our country, and I think that is a measure of success.”


While inaugurating the 22-member inter-ministerial committee, the minister charged them to identify and articulate cogent landmarks achieved by the scheme in the last 50 years, with a view to showcasing them to Nigerians.


The committee is also to propose programmes and activities for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of NYSC; examine the operations of the scheme and recommend areas of improvement to sustain its relevance.


“It is also expected to call for entries from corps members for logo and mascot to commemorate the anniversary,” the minister said.


Dare said that the committee should also advise management on steps to take towards the establishment of NYSC schools and additional NYSC garment factory, and the full and immediate take-off of all newly-established NYSC ventures and SAED centres.


While charging members of the committee to work assiduously on its terms of reference, the minister assured them of government’s support.


The NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, said that the positive roles of successive batches of corps members in the credible conduct of elections in the country were worthy of commendation.


He also commended their participation in other programmes such as population census, immunisation exercise, HIV/AIDS prevention and care and fight against COVID-19 pandemic, among others.


The Chairman of the committee, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, assured that the committee would deliver on the task given it and also meet up to the desired expectation.


The NYSC was established by former Head of State, Retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, to foster Nigeria’s unity and integration.

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