By Soni Daniel & Caleb Ayansina
Abuja—The Federal Government has given the leadership of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, the nod to mobilize all eligible Nigerian graduates for the compulsory one-year programme, despite budgetary constraints.
The Federal Government intervention became imperative, following the preparation by the NYSC to call up only 86,000 of the 170,000 graduates who are qualified for the next batch due to lack of funds to accommodate the number.
Addressing the media in Abuja, the Director General of the NYSC, Brig-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, explained that the government had offered to assist the scheme in mobilizing all the qualified Nigerian youths so that none was left behind.
He said: “As at yesterday, when we concluded the processing for 2016 Batch B with a total of 170, 000 that will serve and we are going to mobilize all.
“Our budgetary allocation can conveniently cater for 86,000 but already we have the mandate of the federal government to mobilize all qualified corps members in 2016 batch B. We are going to have two streams so as to take care of the large number and ensure that no Nigerian if left behind: Stream 1 batch B will report in the camp on November 21st while stream 2 will be mobilized by January.”
Kazaure disclosed that in spite of the challenges associated with the scheme, there was no plan whatsoever by the federal government to make the NYSC scheme optional.
He said the benefits of the scheme far outweighed the noticeable challenges, adding that the government was working hard to make the scheme better in order to tap the full potentialities of its founding fathers.
Kazaure disclosed that 210,000 corps members were budgeted for in 2016, but “the figure for the both 2016 Batches ‘A’ and ‘B’ had more than doubled the original projection.
Earlier, the Director of Press and Public Relation, Mrs Abosede Aderibigbe appealed to “the media to continue to imbibe the ethical principles of objectivity and balanced reportage, especially in handling issues affecting the NYSC scheme.
“I crave you indulgence as friends to be circumspect in reporting the NYSC, and join hands with us to avert the negative impacts of misrepresented facts on the general public that we are all striving to serve well.”