…seeks support for Scheme’s grassroots devt initiatives
By Luminous Jannamike
The Director-General of National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, on Wednesday, said that Nigeria’s education and health sectors would ‘collapse’ if the Scheme was shut down or corps members withdrew their services.
He made the remark at a meeting of NYSC’s top management with representatives of State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory Administration in Abuja.
Ibrahim, who urged stakeholders to live up to their statutory responsibilities to the NYSC, lamented the dwindling level of support for the Scheme’s developmental activities, especially at the grassroots.
He said, “As you know, take out the NYSC; our education and health sectors will collapse. I can assure you that.
“If you go to all the rural areas, and look at the villages in Nigeria, you will find corps members acting as Vice-Principals in schools and Chief Medical Directors in hospitals. Just shut the NYSC and see what will happen to our education and health sectors.
“Every day, I get calls from governors and other stakeholders requesting for more corps members to man their schools and hospitals.
“But for us to be effective in rendering service, there’s a need for all of us to be alive to our responsibilities. The corps members are a resource to our country, and we need to tap into their potential.
“One of the major issues this meeting will focus on, is a reinvigoration of the NYSC grassroots development activities. The level of support for development activities of the Scheme is dwindling, hence the need to reawaken the consciousness of stakeholders on the need to give them the deserved support.”
In the same vein, the Minister of FCT, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello, said: “I consider it appropriate to use this forum to commend the numerous contributions of NYSC, 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 elections, population and housing census, and immunisation against polio, hepatitis and meningitis.
“However, I also understand that the level of public support for such development activities is waning, thereby raising concern among stakeholders of the Scheme.
“In this regard, your choice of the theme: ‘Strengthening Stakeholders’ Support for NYSC Grassroots Development Initiatives for Greater Impact’ is timely and appropriate.”
But, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, argued that the Federal and State Governments have been above board in the discharge of their statutory roles to the NYSC although some appeared to be lagging behind the others.
He, therefore, reaffirmed the support of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for NYSC and appealed to the States and Local Government Councils as well as other stakeholders to equally sustain their support for the success of the Scheme.