NYSC insists on deployment to four key areas

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*Warns against swindlers promising
deployment to multinational companies

By Ikenna Asomba

In what seems like another sad news for prospective 2014 Batch ‘B’ corps members, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has dashed the hopes of several corps members intending to spend their one-year compulsory service to their fatherland at various multinational companies, such as Chevron Nigeria Limited, Shell Nigeria, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Zenith Bank Plc among others.

*NYSC members

*NYSC members

Ahead of the August 5 commencement of orientation programme/camping for prospective corps members, the NYSC has reiterated its position that corps members will still be posted to four key areas of agriculture, education, health and rural infrastructure development until the scheme states otherwise.

Speaking at the pre-mobilisation briefing for Batch ‘B’ corps members of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, last Thursday, the Head, Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development (SAED) NYSC, Lagos State, Mrs. Rachael Idaewor advised corps members to be wary of  dubious individuals with sugar-coated tongues who usually swindle unsuspecting corps members into paying huge sums of money, promising to get them deployed to multinational companies.

Get ready to teach:
Idaewor and her team who took pains to enlighten prospective corps members on the dos and dont’s expected of them during their service year, however, stated that most of them will be deployed to schools across the country to teach.

She said: “The NYSC is taking pains to talk to you before you proceed to your various orientation camps and places of primary assignments, because there is no room for ignorance or mistakes in the scheme. More recently, we have decided to come to you before you depart so that we can acquaint you with the nitty-gritty required of you and you will also give us feedback of what you expect of us.

“This pre-mobilisation briefing is an integral part of the scheme. Have you ever pondered on the essence of the scheme? The scheme came about in 1973, to put things right, because there was widespread apathy and distrust among the ethnic nationalities, emanating from the civil war that ended in 1970. The scheme was established and poised to bring youths of various ethnic nationalities together in order to bridge the distrust obviously seen among them.
“Thus, among other things, the scheme is poised to inculcate discipline, promote national unity, encourage self reliance, remove prejudices, apathy among ethnic nationalities and encourage mobility of labour. The NYSC has achieved these to a large extent, even as it has encouraged cross-marriages and inter-tribal bonds in the country.”

The SAED boss added: “I am saying it authoritatively that most of you in this batch will end up in the classroom. Most of you will teach, so don’t be deceived by dubious elements who ask you to pay money to get deployed to multinational companies such as Chevron Nigeria Limited, Shell Nigeria, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Zenith Bank Plc among others.”

NYSC materials not for sale:
Speaking further, she warned that corps members must desist from buying NYSC apparels. “Anything that deals with NYSC badge and logo, such as the khaki suit, crested vest, belt, waist pouch among others, are not for sale. The scheme has provided enough stock for you, so don’t allow anybody deceive you. Don’t buy any of these from anybody because we will seize them when we get them on you in camps.”

No room for mistakes:
Noting that the essence of the NYSC orientation camping was to acquaint corps members on the cultural and socio-political way of life of the people within their place of primary assignment, Idaewor, however, warned corps members to meticulously read through their call-up letters for the rules and regulations governing their various camps, adding that there is no room for mistakes in the camps.

“In the camp, no room for mistakes, so ensure you meticulously go through the NYSC call-up letters that will be given to you by your school authorities. When you come into camp, you will be given a unique code number, which you are going to use throughout your service year. This number is even more important to you than your name. It is what we will use in identifying you throughout your one-year compulsory service to your fatherland.

“Also, you must be told that life in the camp is regimented. In the camps, you don’t do what you like at any point in time. NYSC decides when you wake up and we decide when you sleep,” she said to loud protests from prospective corps members numbering over 4, 000.

Adding: “To be allowed at various camps, corps members must present original copies of their call-up letters; statement of results issued them by their institutions, eight recent passport photographs and a valid means of identification issued by their schools.

Missing call-up letter:
“Should a corps member misplace his or her call-up letter, such person must go to a nearby police station to obtain a police report; go to court to get a sworn affidavit informing the general public that your call-up letter is missing; then go back to your school and write the appropriate quarters, informing them that your call-up letter is missing and that you have attached a police report and a sworn affidavit,then will your school initiate a re-validation to the NYSC for you to be re-mobilised for the next batch in November 2014.”

70-yr-old must serve:
On those qualified for the one-year service to their fatherland,  Idaewor said: “To be qualified to serve, one must be a Nigerian; must not have clocked 30 years upon the year of graduation and must have bagged a B.A, Bsc or HND from tertiary institutions in Nigeria or abroad. Although, before 1977 and 1985, these barriers were not there.”

Pointing out that anybody who meets these requirements must serve no matter the age, she said: “You must serve your fatherland even at 70. We had a situation in Lagos where a son and father served together because the father went abroad for his master’s without serving. After he had settled abroad and established a family, he came back home to venture into politics. But knowing full well that the NYSC Certificate of Service is one of the pre-requisites needed to contest elections, the man, who had clocked 70 was compelled by the scheme to serve alongside  the son.

“Also, any break in service is regarded as an abscondment by the NYSC and such an individual will be made to repeat the service year. However, only graduates of Medicine can defer their service to enable them go for housemanship.”

Exemptions:
However, the SAED head said those exempted from serving are “graduates who are recipients of national honours; those who have served in the police, Navy, Army, Airforce for over nine months and those who have crossed 30 years,” adding that “you are not qualified for exemption having served in para-military agencies like the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) among others.”

She stated that graduates of part-time, sandwich, distant learning programmes and professional courses run by professional bodies like Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Nigerian Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) are excluded from serving according to the NYSC Decree 51 of 1993, now an Act of the National Assembly. She, however, said pregnant and nursing mothers deployed out of the state where their husbands are domiciled can go back home after due registration at their place of posting.

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