FCT Minister solicits support for National Youth Service Scheme
Ene Audu, Abuja
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello has appealed to all stakeholders in the country to support the National Youth Service Corps NYSC in order to actualize its mandate, stating that the Scheme has been playing a pivotal role in uplifting the living standard of Nigerians through its various programmes.
The Minister disclosed this today in Abuja, in his address at the NYSC Top Management meeting with representatives of State Governments nationwide, with the theme; “Strengthening Stakeholders’Support for NYSC Grassroots Development Initiatives for Greater Impact”.
While declaring the meeting open, the Minister, who was represented by the Acting Secretary, Area Council Secretariat Services, Mrs Omolola Olanipekun commended the NYSC Scheme for its numerous contributions through Corps Members’ activities in the areas of health, education, general office administration, road safety campaign, infrastructural development, as well as national programmes such as national elections, population and housing census,, among other health interventions.
“The Scheme’s contributions to the efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic is still fresh in our memory”.
“I wish to appeal to all stakeholders to continue to support the NYSC for the successful discharge of its mandate, especially through the upgrade of facilities in the NYSC Orientation Camps, as well as security and other welfare provisions for Corps Members”, he said.
Bello noted that in the FCT, likewise other communities across the country, residents benefited from the Anti-COVID-19 items that were produced by Corps Members during the outbreak of coronavirus.
He urged participants at the meeting to come up with ideas that will further enhance the success of the NYSC operations with specific feedbacks on its operations in various areas of intervention, such as the maintenance and upgrade of Orientation Camps, provision of Corps Lodges and befitting office accommodation, security of Corps Members among others.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, who was represented by the Director, Human Resources Management, Mr Jimoh Abu, said while the Federal Government and some State Governments have been above board in the discharge of their statutory roles, others appear to be lagging behind.
He however advised participants at the meeting to inspire one another to step up their support for the Scheme.
The Minister commended NYSC Management for enhancing the credibility of the mobilization process, reinvigoration of the NYSC Ventures and Skills Acquisition and and Entrepreneurship Development programme among other national assignments.
NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim in his welcome address said the meeting was aimed at further strengthening the Scheme’s relationship with State Governments, the FCT administration, and Local Governments whose roles remain critical to the smooth operations of the Scheme.
He expressed gratitude to some State Governments which are alive to their responsibilities to the Scheme.
He added that the forum will review decisions made at the previous meeting, provide feedbacks on the implementation by all participants and further strategize on the way forward.
“Since the last meeting, a number of States have shown greater commitment to their statutory obligations to NYSC”.
“We have witnessed increased interventions in areas such as the upgrade of facilities in Orientation Camps, establishment of NYSC State Governing Boards and Local Government Committees as well as payment of State Allowances to Corps Members, amongst others”.
“There are States and Local Governments whose performances leave much to be desired. Problems such as lack of Permanent Orientation Camps, obsolete or inadequate facilities in camps, lack or shortage of Corps Lodges, inadequate office accommodation and non-release of the Statutory State subvention to the NYSC Secretariats are still being faced in some States”, the DG added.
General Ibrahim stated that successive batches of Corps Members have always worked with their host communities to execute different Community Development Service projects across the country.
“The intervention of NYSC in community development is deliberately designed to be participatory in nature with the Corps Members identifying the felt needs, proffering solutions and mobilizing the community to provide resources for the execution of planned projects”.
“However, the level of support for development activities of the Scheme is dwindling, hence, the need to reawaken the consciousness of stakeholders in the need to give them the deserved support”, the Director-General said.
The Chairman, NYSC National Governing Board, Ambassador Fatima Balla Abubakar, represented by Barrister Dayo Ajibola praised the managers of the Scheme for piloting the affairs of the Scheme creditably, while appealing to the States to be more alive on their responsibilities to the Scheme.