In an effort to rebuild the nation after the civil war, Gen Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) during his military regime set up the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) in 1973.
Since then, graduates from Universities and Polytechnics have gone through the mandatory one year program, gained experiences through it and also earned some money to help them kick start life after the school.
And now, 48 years later, in Buhari’s regime, a bill which has now been passed on for second hearing, is currently with the House of Representatives considering to put an end to this scheme.
This bill, sponsored by Lawmaker, Awaji-Inombek Abiante of the Peoples Democratic Party, Rivers state listed a number of reasons why the NYSC should be scrapped.
“For children of the rich, how many of them would want to go to Sokoto or Yobe? It is still the children of the poor that are sent to those places (where) they are butchered,”
His point of view is quite understandable. The life of youths sent to the north are in danger and such should be averted, but what happened to scrapping the the need to send youths into the north in the first place?
The lawmaker also argued that:
“Public and private agencies and departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths, thus relying heavily on the availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year without any hope of being gainfully employed,”.
This is true, especially in private sectors. There is a huge reliance on corps members because of the meagre pay these sectors are allowed to pay out instead of hiring able Nigerian youths and paying them according to their pay grade.
Either ways, people have looked beyond these reasons and here are some of their reactions to this:
But the question remains; Should NYSC be scrapped?
What if it is made optional or voluntary, wouldn’t it be better than scrapping it completely?