There is an ongoing debate as to the continuation of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC). Some people are of the option of that the scheme should be stooped and we are all for it. Recently we saw an upgraded NYSC handbook where the corp members were advised to keep a ransom in case they are kidnapped on their way to their place of assignment. We have not gotten over the death of the youth corps members at NYSC camp and allegations of negligence from the staff. These events coming at the tail of each other in quick succession leaves a bitter taste in our tongues.
Here 5 reasons why the National Youth Service Scheme(NYSC) should be stopped:
It has outlived its usefulness
NYSC was created in 1973 as a bridge to connect people all across the country when the civil war ended. The scheme sought to expose young Nigerians to different cultures and foster national unity by posting graduates to States different from theirs. It was a great idea at the time, and when implemented achieved its aims in the immediate years following the war. More than 40 years later, the country has evolved, and we are fighting a different war. Yet, NYSC has failed to adjust its objectives, and take into consideration the evolving needs of the country and its youths.
It’s also alarming that adults who are sent to foster national peace and unity, already have strongly formed prejudices which they tend to enforce in their primary place of assignment. What we need is a scheme that adapts to the dynamic nature of our country and prepares the youths for the future.
The risks are too high
The rising cases of insecurity in most parts of the country and the ineffective management of the program mean that very few youth corps members will leave at the end of the day unscathed. We have heard of corps members are who were sent to volatile areas and exposed to unwarranted dangers. Many of them have lost their lives due to tragic road accidents, acts of terrorism and even election violence. Others developed severe health issues due to the unique challenges of their new environments. We got reports of corp members who were sexually abused and cases of sexual harassment abound. Away from all of that, we have a disaster waiting to happen if corp members who passed out of the scheme do not have jobs because as time goes on they will become restless and turn to crime.
It is of little or no value
Every year, thousands of young people graduate from universities across the country after spending between 4-7 years to get their degrees. What most of them desire at that point is relevant work experience or gainful employment, especially if they don’t have rich parents who will hook them up with a job or send them abroad for postgraduate studies. However, the majority will spend up to a year at home doing nothing but waiting to be called for service, when they eventually get called up, they will spend another year posted to a remote community, teaching in subjects that are far removed from their degrees. Many of them return home jobless and frustrated because they didn’t get the meaningful and relevant experience which employers look for. A handful of them who were fortunate to serve in corporate organisations would be retained after their service year, while the majority would learn some sort of vocational skill and be forced into self-employment.
It is a waste of valuable time and scarce resources
The scheme is estimated to cost 60-80 billion naira per year. It is like the proverbial white elephant and you don’t have to be a genius to know that spending that huge amount of money on a scheme with little or no value at all, while millions of youths are suffering as a result of unemployment is a total waste of time, money and people.