By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has dismissed a report making the round in the social media that its proposed trust fund is a slush fund for the top military brass.
This was contained in a statement on Friday by the Scheme’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Mr Eddy Megwa.
It explained that the Bill to establish the NYSC Trust Fund, which has been passed by the House of Representatives will, among other direct benefits to the corps members, address the infrastructural deficit besetting the Scheme in the area of camp renovation and maintenance.
A report by an online medium had alleged that top military officers were secretly pushing for the establishment of the fund to service their retirements for life.
But the NYSC on Friday said the report was not only erroneous, but misleading as well.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of NYSC Management has been drawn to a story with the above caption, making the rounds in the social media.
“The decision to establish NYSC Trust Fund was conceived during a meeting held with some of the Scheme’s stakeholders; notably: the thirty-six State Governments and FCT Administration; and thereafter strongly supported by civil societies, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) as well as Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).
“Primarily, the Fund is purposed to address the infrastructural deficit besetting the Scheme in the area of camp renovation and maintenance; upgrading, building and maintenance of Corps Members’ Lodges, among others.
“Statutorily, the Scheme as it were, has a tripartite funding arrangement – the Federal, State and Local Governments, with each having varying degree of responsibilities.
“The Trust Fund will provide funds to a greater percentage of Corps Members trained under the NYSC Skill Acquisition programme to start-up their businesses.
“It is appropriate to clarify that the Fund, which passed public hearing, with civil societies, the academia, among others, fully represented is not a pool of slush fund meant to gratify the financial cravings of top military officers as erroneously stated by the writer of the story.
“While Management holds the media in high esteem as a worthy partner, it wishes to restate the need for writers to clarify issues pertaining to the Scheme with the managers before rushing to publish, in order to guard against misleading the public.”