ORPHANS OF LIVING PARENTS; THE PLIGHT OF CORPS MEMBERS: A case that has broken the psych of our NYSC youths(Part 1)

Filed under: Letters,National Issues,Political Issues |

Corps members through the establishment of the NYSC scheme are the linking path connecting the products of our educational institutions to the job market.The establishment of the National Youth Service Corps by decree No.24 of 22nd May 1973 which stated that, the NYSC is being established “with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity”. The short falls associated with the attendant attention given to corps members welfare has left these youth more wearied than settled for want of the objectives of the ‘meritorious scheme’.

This supposedly ‘grass path’ (NYSC) leading to the promise land of economic freedom for the ever increasing graduates isn’t getting greener as years pass by. Corps members have had to contend with issues that have left them vulnerable in the hands of the same people they look up to for parenting their dreams. Many blame the poor management of corps members’ welfare on the mother scheme NYSC, while other will advocate that the government live up to its responsibility of facilitating both private and public institutions compliance, to corps the affairs of members.

The dilemma is still going through the head of every ‘coper’ who is or has served without receiving the needed remuneration, that will grease his service to mother land without making of them servant of a system that has an objective to frustrate tomorrow’s leaders. Corps members across the 36 States of the federation have been frustrated in many instances of unpaid allowance to a point of destitution, so that their only solace is in tears. What am I driving at you may ask; I am sure the cries of unpaid allowances for corps members is no news even to primary school students in Nigeria.

Looking up through the objectives of the NYSC scheme, one is tempted to ask if the present status of the scheme means a figure of speech as obvious reality is in parallel conflict with the enshrined purpose:

OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHEME
(i) The objectives of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme are clearly spelt out in Decree No.51 of 16th June 1993 as follows:

  1. To inculcate discipline in Nigerian youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work, and of patriotic and loyal service to Nigeria in any situation they may find themselves.
  2. To raise the moral tone of the Nigerian youths by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievement, social and cultural improvement;
  3. To develop in the Nigerian youths the attitudes of mind, acquired through shared experience and suitable training. which will make them more amenable to mobilization in the national interest;
  4. To enable Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self employment,
  5. To contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy;
    (f) To develop common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration;
  6. To remove prejudices, eliminate ignorance and confirm at first hand the many similarities among Nigerians of all ethnic groups; and
  7. To develop a sense of corporate existence and common destiny of the people of Nigeria.


(ii) In order to achieve the objectives in subsection (3) of this section, the service corps shall ensure:

(a) the equitable distribution of members of the service corps and the effective utilization of their skills in area of national needs;
(b) that as far as possible, youths are assigned to jobs in States other than their States of origin;
(c) that such group of youths assigned to work together is as representative of Nigeria as far as possible;
(d) that the Nigerian youths are exposed to the modes of living of the people in different parts of Nigeria;
(e) that the Nigerian youths are encouraged to eschew religious intolerance by accommodating religious differences;
(f) that members of the service corps are encouraged to seek at the end of their one year national service, career employment all over Nigeria, thus promoting the free movement of labour;
(g) that employers are induced partly through their experience with members of the service corps to employ more readily and on a permanent basis, qualified Nigerians, irrespective of their States of origin.

Whatever must have given birth to these objectives was laudable but, left more objectives binding on the government and the private economy managers that wasn’t written anywhere for reference not to talk about application. Little wander corps members now wander the street like orphans screaming in vain for no available rescuer. For good objectives where formulated but kept in the hands of short sighted, short term planners to manage. Accumulation of limitations over time has introduces so many challenges into the NYSC scheme some of which are;

  • Influencing of posting

  • Ethno-religious crisis

  • Rejection of posted corps members by employers

  • Non permanent orientation camps

  • Use of corps members to run errands and personal projects by bosses

  • Under or nonpayment of corps members allowances

The list goes on and on if I am to continue my elucidation. The crocks of the problem that has pierced the heart of most corps members is the denial of the monthly allowances due them as this has a way of making corps members handicap psychologically and economically. What more could spell frustration in capital letters if not acts infringing on both psychological and economic wellbeing of the individual, leaving most corps members in partial state of dementia. (To be continued)

 

Comments

comments

  • Joseph Dauda

    The founders of the project “NYSC” failled to put an expansion plan. They did not look into the future of Nigeria to see how to tackle the problems we are experiencing today.

    Nigeria is a failled state, the leaders themselves are tired of the NYSC programme… It will only be fair if they scrape it and find a better alternative.