Nigerians are reacting to a move by the House of Representatives to scrap the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alteration Bill, 2020, which is seeking to repeal the NYSC Act, is now billed for the second reading.
Honorable Awaji-Inombek Abiante, who is the sponsor, cited various reasons why the NYSC should be discontinued.
The reasons are “incessant killings and kidnapping of innocent corps members due to banditry, religious extremism, ethnic violence”.
“Public and private agencies/departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths, thus relying heavily on the availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year without any hope of being gainfully employed;
“Due to insecurity across the country, the National Youth Service Corps management now gives considerations to posting corps members to their geopolitical zone, thus defeating one of the objectives of setting up the service corps, i.e. developing common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.”
Reacting, former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani wrote: “The NYSC should not be scrapped. It is needed now more than ever before. Many Nigerians have never known anywhere other than their hometown and University town if not for NYSC. Its mandate should be expanded to give participants full military training in the face of insecurity”.
Twitter influencer, @iamseunalaofin said: “NYSC is a soft landing between leaving the university and entering the real world.Many people got life-changing jobs, met loved ones, and destiny helpers because of NYSC. Rather than scrap, revamp and make it more productive”.
@Mohnice tweeted: “NYSC is a crap absolute waste of time with it Primary assignment and unproductive CDS….. while peeps schooling in the UK and the States are assured of jobs on graduation you are not even assured of one in Nigeria when you are through serving”
@trending_medic wrote: “Federal hospitals especially Medical Centers won’t even employ post-NYSC doctors anymore. Why would they, when they can use NYSC doctors to man their emergency wards, clinics, and even specialty departments while paying them peanuts. NYSC should be scrapped like yesterday”.
Popular business coach, Dr. Dipo Awojide tweeted: “Unpopular: NYSC is a good stopgap for millions of young people in Nigeria. Don’t scrap it, rejig it. Focus on entrepreneurship. Focus on community development. Focus on skills development. Post people to safe states. Scrap the unity and one Nigeria objective. It’s not working”.
He now wrote in a separate tweet: “The NYSC has to go – it’s a way for the government to avoid investing in education/healthcare, etc because of the cheap labor that NYSC provides and also put core members at risk due to the security challenges in the country. At worst, it can be made voluntary”.
@ToyosiGodwin wrote: “I don’t think NYSC should be scrapped. It can be modified. Last week, I met someone with 200 #BnB. He explained crypto to me again. Networking. There are digital skill enthusiasts willing to teach for free here. This is literally an opportunity to encourage youths embracing tech”.
He then wrote in a separate tweet: “Nothing techy about the NYSC. This is something that deserves to be talked about. No one is talking about digital skills. Only left march, remove hair dress. Nobody is talking about investment plans. So bad people are even advised not to bring a laptop. A gathering of youths. Lord”.
@Danysleek tweeted: “The 400k salary is too small and won’t give you a comfortable life” people are currently fighting on the line in NYSC camp with GeePee tank coolers to collect white rice, stew and over the dry head of fish”.
@aselugeemain said: “Let them scrap it. Send every graduate to one month orientation camp where they’ll be thought self-defense and economics. At the end multiply their one-year stipend and pay them as startup.The current NYSC structure is docile and irrelevant to today’s plights”.
What will happen to the bill to scrap NYSC?
It is not yet clear as the bill just only passed the second reading.
For any bill to become law, in Nigeria it needs to scale through three readings in the house, and will go through committee reading.
It will later be passed to the upper legislative house, the senate will agree to the bill before the President finally assents or signs it into law.
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Doris Israel Ijeoma is a Journalist and freelancer. She is a graduate of Nigerian Institute of Journalism. She writes political stories, entertainment and human Interest