FOR Nigeria to benefit from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and to conform with the modern practice across the world, the Chancellor, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State, King Alfred Papapereye Diete-Spiff has urged the Federal Government to modernise the NYSC scheme in our country.
Papapereye Diete-Spiff who spoke at the combined convocation ceremony of Novena University where twenty-six students bagged First Class honours degrees in various disciplines, commented on our National Youth Service Scheme, stating that what we run presently is not a youth scheme but a graduate scheme.
According to him, "The government should modernise our NYSC programme into a truly one year youth service in the military for all Nigerian youths of 18 years and above, comprising graduates and non-graduates.
By modernising it, he explained that the innovation will ensure millions of non-graduate Nigerian youths are not alienated from the service of their father land. Also, he pointed out that it will give our Nigerian youths the much needed training in patriotism and military tactics necessary for the defence of our father land.
Benefits from individual contributions
The benefits to derive from the individual contributions of the serving youths to the manpower requirements of the nation for that one year, he added, cannot be quantified in financial terms. Besides, he noted that to save our country the huge foreign exchange bills usually expended by training personnel abroad, Novena University will next academic session float Marine Navigation and Aeronautic colleges in Twon Brass, Bayelsa State. To make it a world class standard, he said: "The institution has signed partnership with Amet University, Chennai, India, which is presently the university training seafarers for Nigerian Marine and Safety Administration (NIMASA).
Moreover, to consolidate the programme, our school is on collaboration arrangement with Antwerp Maritime Academy and Institute of Transport and Marine Management, Antwerp." The Chancellor disclosed that to facilitate the project, he had travelled with the Pro-Chancellor to Antwerp to inspect their facilities and sign a memorandum of understanding under a collaborative arrangement between the universities. According to him, Novena will be graduating the first set of Marine and Aeronautical school by 2017.
Closely allied to the statement of the Chancellor, Novena Pro-Chancellor, Mr Chuks Ochonogor quoted Henry Ford, "Thinking is the hardest work, which is probably why not so many people engage in it." adding that Novena authority is always thinking of ways of affecting their environment positively in order to make a difference.
He disclosed that the establishing College of Medical Sciences and Teaching Hospital is in process adding that it shall be of international standards.
Also speaking, Ambassador (Dr) Hassan Adamu who is the Chairman, Board of Trustees stated that any nation that is able to catalyze and galvanise
its university system towards a planned process of national growth will achieve the national goal. He said:"Governments and socially responsible organisations all over the world should give university education a priority attention in their development programmes through intensive funding, establishment of research institutes and endowment of chairs for the advancement of knowledge."
According to him, the problem with our universities is not a lack of brilliant ideas to save our world but the dearth of funds to work their ideas, stressing that if the situation is bad for federal and state universities who enjoy government subvensions and grants, it is far worse for private universities which have to rely solely on tuition from students whose parents struggle through thick and thin to pay.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Joe Eze who was elated with the academic development in the university said: "Of the six programmes presented to the NUC for accredition in April, 2012, we secured full accreditation for five of them and interim for one.
We also presented our Accounting programme for ICAN professional Accreditation and got it. According to the VC, with the huge investment in the institution, the relative cost of sending a student to Novena is cheap. "Taking a profile of fees in private universities in the country, Novena will be found at the lowest rung of the ladder," he said.
Adding colour to the event, distinguished personalities were honoured nationally and internationally for their various contribution to humanity.
Thus, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, National Secretary, PDP was honoured with Drof Science in Public Policy and Strategy. Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar, Inspector General of Police was honoured with Dr of Intelligence and Security Studies.