Leadership (Abuja)

10 February 2013

Nigeria: Ministry Plans Consolidation As NYSC Clocks 40 Years

The Ministry of Youth Development plans to consolidate on the successes of the NYSC as the scheme clocks 40 years this year.

Established in 1973 the scheme entails a one-year compulsory service to the nation by graduates of universities and later those of polytechnics.

Extolling the scheme on Sunday in Abuja, Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that "the NYSC has helped in national integration as batches of corps members have contributed immensely to national development."

Abdul-Kadir also praised the NYSC for its robust contribution to the success of the conduct of the 2011 general elections.

"Up to 80 per cent of the success recorded in the 2011 general elections could be awarded to the NYSC as corps members were largely those who performed as ad hoc election officers.

"The NYSC has contributed a lot to the development of this nation in various sectors because during their national service, most of them are teachers; they work in rural areas, in so many sectors.

"That has contributed a lot and nobody is taking these statistics. State governments are relying heavily on a percentage of its workforce in the teaching sector which should be appreciated."

Abdul-Kadir told NAN that it was unfortunate, however, that some Nigerians still did not appreciate the positive contributions the NYSC scheme had made to national integration and development.

He assured that the ministry would consolidate on the achievements so far recorded by the scheme and make it stronger.

The minister also told NAN that the ministry had plans to restructure the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre to further train Nigerian youths in civic and leadership responsibilities.

"Within the centre we intend to use the facilities of the centre to resuscitate school-based associations like the Boys Scout, the Boys Brigade, and the Girls Guide to instill volunteerism into the minds of our young people.

"We felt the absence of those kinds of associations in our schools gave way to cultism in our institutions right from secondary schools up to university.

"These associations have been, by their objective and conduct, instill the sense of humanitarianism in the minds of young people; they grow up to be their own brother's keepers."

Abdul-Kadir also told NAN that plans were underway for the resuscitation of the Boys Scout, the Girls Guide, the Boys Brigade and other similar primary and secondary schools associations as a means of checking cultism.

He said that the absence of such institutions had given rise to the advent and sustenance of cultism in schools, stressing that resuscitation of such institutions would help to check the menace.

He expressed optimism that the good attitudes that were lacking in young Nigerians could be revived with the reintroduction of such associations.

"These attributes which are now lacking in our schools, we intend to collaborate with ministries of education and other institutions to resuscitate them and support them so that our young people will have a vehicle upon which to have proper training.

"School is not just about academic training, this is part of moral training and social training that will make our young people better adults in our society."

The minister said that the ministry would seek the cooperation of the private sector to finance programmes for the associations.

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