In a candid and concern-filled address, Brig. Gen. Dogara Ahmed, the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has sounded the alarm over the growing influx of poor-quality graduates into the NYSC programme.
During his lecture titled “Harnessing the Potential of the Nigerian Youths for National Unity and Development” at the 5th convocation lecture of Edo State University, Uzairue, Brig. Gen. Ahmed brought to light various challenges affecting the NYSC scheme.
Represented by the NYSC Director for the South South Zone, Ladan Baba, Brig. Gen. Ahmed revealed that the NYSC annually mobilizes an average of 350,000 corps members, with the noble goal of promoting national unity and development.
However, the Director General expressed his concern that the scheme is facing significant challenges that are undermining its effectiveness.
Among the issues highlighted by Brig. Gen. Ahmed are the inadequacy of orientation camp facilities, poor infrastructure, inaccurate submission of graduates’ data, and the unsettling trend of mobilizing poor-quality graduates.
Furthermore, the scheme is grappling with the issue of corps members’ relocation racketeering, which threatens the integrity of the programme.
Brig. Gen. Ahmed made a fervent call to state governments to fulfill their statutory responsibilities in providing, maintaining, and upgrading camp facilities within their respective domains.
Adequate facilities are essential for the successful implementation of the NYSC program and the welfare of corps members.
Despite these challenges, the NYSC has made significant contributions to the development of education in Nigeria.
Corps members have served as teachers in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions, especially in rural communities.
They have also been actively involved in the health sector, agriculture, NYSC ventures, general elections, national census, skill acquisition, and entrepreneurship development, making valuable contributions to various sectors of the nation.
The Director General underscored the fact that the NYSC scheme was established as a deliberate public policy to help achieve the government’s post-war strategy of Reconciliation, Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation (RRR).
Its core objectives remain inculcating discipline, a strong work ethic, and a sense of patriotic and loyal service to Nigeria among the country’s youth, irrespective of the circumstances they might encounter.
Brig. Gen. Dogara Ahmed’s warning about the influx of poor graduates into the NYSC program serves as a wake-up call for authorities, institutions, and stakeholders to address the pressing issues facing the scheme.
As Nigeria strives for national unity and development, the quality of its youth service program plays a vital role in shaping the future of the nation.
The challenge now is to ensure that the NYSC continues to meet its objectives while addressing the issues that currently threaten its effectiveness.
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