The National Youth Service Corps is a body set up by the Nigerian government to engage Nigerian graduates in active participation of governmental activities, nation building and the development of the country in general for a duration of one year. It was founded by Adebayo Adedeji on 22nd May 1973. These graduates are however paid a stipulated amount monthly for the period of services.
This programme is open and compulsory for graduates below 30 years of age. It exempts pregnant ladies, disabled citizens and citizens above the age of 30. This set of people are issued a letter of exemption in place of the NYSC certificate.
Young graduates are dispatched to different regions within the country to serve and learn the cultures of others, interact, educate, inform and also be informed.
The NYSC is a necessity to every individual living and schooling in Nigeria as it is a major criteria for job opportunities in the country. It also indicates a loyal service to the country by patriotic citizens.
The programme has however been criticised due to the dangers it involves. One of such dangers is the terrible killing and massacre of the graduates in some regions due to religious, political or ethnic violence and differences.
Besides that, some critiques emphasize on the fact that there is poor security, lack of food and shelter and no condusive environment for the corps members This is also coupled with the fact that there are strenuous activities given by the cordinators to the members during the 3 weeks camping in the name of service.
The essence of the NYSC is to expose young Nigerians to the modes of living of other regions, accommodate ethnic and religious diversity, ease the stress of employment in the country, promote self reliance and contribute to the development of the country with the necessary skills acquired.
"Once the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable". If this programme is a key requirement in the country and cannot be scrapped, then it should be revamped. There should be adequate resources to cater for the well-being of the different individuals sent to serve their nation.
The youth are the future generation they say..then, they should be treated as such. There should be an increment in the monthly "salary" given to the corps members by the government. This also means no member should be sent to regions with much insecurity. This amongst many others.
In my opinion, the NYSC should not be scrapped. It should be revamped!!
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