The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that it has no plans to scrap the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
This was revealed by the Minister of Youth Development and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalong, in Lagos, on Tuesday, during an inspection tour of the Lagos State NYSC orientation camp in the Iyana Ipaya area of the state.
The minister said that contrary to agitations from some quarters, the NYSC had come to stay, adding that its merits outweighed its disadvantages.
According to Dalong, the scheme had not only enhanced the socio-cultural and ethnic integration in the country but had also promoted national unity.
He said, “We cannot dismiss the gains of the NYSC scheme in integrating Nigeria; I will stand firmly for the sustenance of the system, to continue in it’s capacity-building of Nigeria citizens because, it is an indispensable aspect of diversifying our culture.”
The minister noted that there are several plans in place to train interested graduates in skills acquisition after the mandatory one-year service, adding that such graduates would be provided with a start-up capital at the end of the training.
“Apart from the basic orientation programme, the NYSC scheme should also move into including professional and enterprising programmes to support and motivate those who would not want to embrace public services in the country.
“After the mandatory one-year service, the Federal Government is planning an extension, to professionally train interested corps members in skill acquisition, enterprising and professional programmes.
“Corps members with keen interest would be retained and some financial token given to them as start-up capital in furtherance of their skill. This is because due to our research, we find out that people abandon school due to uncertainty of the future. Hence, we believe this would help reduce the unemployed graduate ratio and curtail pressure on white-collar job as a means to win the war against poverty,” he said.