Between NYSC and NPower

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My first condolence note is to the families of; late Ms Ifedolapo, a first class graduate of Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology who died due to negligence of NYSC medical team in Kano, nine members drowned by river in Taraba State and the seven kidnapped on their way to NYSC camp in the South-south few months ago.

The National Youth Service Corps scheme founded by the Federal Government after the civil war to promote common ties and national unity has since then lost its mission and only subject fresh graduates today to an unnecessary year of hardship.

Youths with bright future in their twenties are posted to different areas prone to violence, attacks and ethno-religious maltreatments while those from wealthy families like Former Minister of Finance follow ‘back door’ to get their discharge or exemption certificates.

While death may be defined as an inevitable natural calamity, despite the insufficient monthly stipend, a lot of corp members are posted to places where they will have to sponsor their accommodation from what cannot cover their feeding.

From my investigation, I found out that, a corp member who chose to take three good meals daily from his monthly stipend for seven days in Abuja and seventeen days in Kebbi will be left with nothing for transport to his Place of Primary Assignment not to talk of rent bill before other basic amenities.

The Npower, an initiative of the Federal Government in 2016, gives unemployed graduates of higher institutions chance to work in their states and Local Governments of residence while earning a higher amount to make ends meet.

The NYSC scheme, which is a one year compulsory service is carried out by posting mobilised graduates to places for particular assignment.

This however only promotes unemployment, under employment though temporarily solve shortage of skilled man power.

The graduates, after the year of service may spend the next ten years in search of job as every year, others will be posted to replace those who completed their service and most organisations, including some government-owned prefer them because of their low level of maintenance and appreciation of low stipend.

You cannot put a crown on a clown and expect a king, apart from low stipend, accommodation problem, changes in weather, climate and environment, the Corp members will have to cope when posted to places irrespective of their qualifications, skills and professions to wrong places for assignment.

A graduate of Mass Communication with no class room management training posted to Primary or Secondary School, a graduate of Biochemistry with no medical orientation posted to clinic laboratory, a graduate of Yoruba posted to the Northwest are common examples.

I once witness a scenario during my Industrial Training where a graduate of Science Laboratory Technology from a Polytechnic who had her Industrial Training from a Chemical Industry was posted to a state with no Chemical Industry. She served at a medical laboratory where her school and teachers were subjects of mockery every day.

Unless the Federal Government will retain youths after their year of service, the Npower, is a better alternative to the hazardous NYSC. The refusal of some top government officials to let their children and the honourable minister of communication to serve are clear pieces of evidence that NYSC has no significance.


Habibu Usman Bawa


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