The Federal Government has been urged to ignore the calls to scrap the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The Convener, Nigeria First, Comrade Richard Augustine, made the call during a news conference at the end of a meeting of the organisation in Abuja, on Friday.
According to him, it is disheartening that some were calling for the scrapping of the NYSC, insinuating it has outlived its usefulness of national integration and unity.
“Sadly, those against the existence of the NYSC have elected to turn the truth on its head for inexplicable reasons and link the continued existence of the scheme as responsible for the death of corps members and other issues occasioned by the spate of insecurity in the country.
“It is on record that the operations of the NYSC have evolved over the years in conformity with the global trend from a scheme devoted to national integration to a skill and entrepreneurship hub for the teeming youthful population of the country,” Augustine said.
He said that those calling for the scrap of NYSC are not in tune with the reality on the ground in the country and that they may be ignorant or mischievous, given that the operations of the NYSC in Nigeria have been noteworthy and instrumental in implementing policies and programmes that place the youths on the pedestal to achieving greatness.
“A good example was the strike action by resident doctors in the country that left patients in public hospitals across the country stranded. However, the intervention of NYSC doctors and nurses saved the situation in what could have been a national health crisis.
“There are also numerous tales of the intervention of corps members in the educational and agricultural sectors and many more that have elicited commendations from far and near, which is a testament to the strategic relevance of NYSC now and in the future,” he said.
He also said that that some youth corps members encountered life-threatening situations that, in some instances, resulted in death does not mean that the NYSC is a death trap as some groups and individuals would want unsuspecting members of the general public to believe.
He said, “This is on the heels that every occupation has hazards, which are not restricted to the operations of the NYSC alone. And we are aware that the management of the NYSC has done tremendously in the security of corps members during the service year.
“We must also admit that the various security measures introduced over the years by the NYSC management have been noteworthy in the sense that incidences of threat to the lives of corps members have reduced drastically, compared to what was the case in years past.
“It is also sad that some supposed nationalists that ought to be at the vanguard of celebrating and promoting the reforms in the NYSC are agitating for the scheme’s scrapping in fulfilment of their selfish desires.
“Maybe they have refused to see anything good in the contributions of corps members to national development. And perhaps they have been blinded by the pursuit of pecuniary gains at the expense of national interest.
“Nigeria First wishes to reiterate that the call for the scrapping of the NYSC is a misnomer and should be disregarded by concerned stakeholders, including parents and guardians, as the novel introductions in the NYSC in recent times have been impactful in our quest for socio-economic growth and development.”