10 October 2011

Nigeria: Provide Accommodation for Corps Members, NYSC Orders Employers

Abuja — Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia, the Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has directed employers of corps members to provide accommodation for them or risk being declared "unfriendly to the scheme".

The director-general issued the warning on Monday while speaking in Abuja, stressing that employers should ensure that corps members serving with them were well taken care of.

According to him, "the responsibility of providing accommodation for corps members is that of employers and when they fail to do so, we will consider them unfriendly."

Okore-Affia explained that his directive resulted from the difficulty experienced by corps members, especially those in the Federal Capital Territory, in obtaining accommodation.

Most organisations, both private and government establishments, have no provision for accommodation for corps members but keep requesting for their service.

However, the NYSC letter of posting clearly states that employers requesting for corps member must provide them with accommodation.

The letter reads: "Employers of corps members are expected to provide accommodation, at least a room, to a corps member with a bed, mattress, pillows, table and a chair."

Mr Felix Tunde, a corps member serving with a federal parastatal establishment in the FCT, said his employers asked him if he had accommodation before they could accept him as they had no accommodation for him.

Also, Miss Amina Abubakar, a batch C corps member, said that her employers informed her that they could not pay her accommodation cost nor give her a place as requested by the scheme.

"I was rejected because of accommodation problem," said Abubakar, who resides in the outskirts of Abuja.

She said that at the end of the day she got little or nothing in a month as all her earnings, both the NYSC allowance and the stipend, were spent on transportation.

"I stay in the outskirts of Abuja and my allowance from the NYSC in addition to what they give me from my primary place of assignment end up being spent on transportation every month and I still have to pay for accommodation."

At the NYSC Orientation Camp at Kubwa, most of the corps members who have no relations in the FCT seek temporary accommodation there.

NAN reports that some corps members, especially females, have been victims of abuse and harassment as a result of their employers not providing them with accommodation.

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