15 February 2013

Nigeria: 4,500 Corps Members Complete Service Year, Recount Challenges

About 4,500 batch 'A' corps members yesterday completed their one year youth service in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Among those who completed their service, six received the honours award, 10 received certificates of commendation while 11 received letters of commendation.

Speaking at the passing-out ceremony, NYSC FCT Coordinator, Mr Frank Ekpunobi, congratulated the corps members and charged them to shun vices and be guided always by the positive ideals of the scheme.

Ekpunobi noted that the corps members have contributed positively to the socio economic development of their host communities through their group and personal community development service projects, adding that they have exhibited high level of discipline which has made them worthy ambassadors of the scheme.

While commending the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and members of the NYSC (FCT) governing board for their support for the scheme, he pledged that the staff and corps members will continue to reciprocate the gesture by working assiduously to realise the objectives of the scheme.

Speaking after the ceremony, one of the awardees, Okeke Kanayo, expressed gratitude to the NYSC for recognising him and added that the award has humbled him and would spur him to do even more.

Meanwhile, a cross section of the corps members who served in the FCT say accommodation remains a very big challenge for corps members who serve in the territory.

The corps members who spoke to LEADERSHIP during their passing out ceremony yesterday said getting accommodation in the capital city wasn't easy even as the rent charges remained exorbitant.

One of the corps members, Nike Afolabi, said it was imperative for the NYSC and the FCT minister to make provision for accommodation for corps members so that they will be able to perform their duties effectively without thinking of where to lay their head, every night.

Afolabi however said that the scheme has helped her garner experience especially in the area of teaching adding that it has also given her the opportunity to make new friends.

"I am happy that the service year is over. It was a hectic year for us but thank God it is all over. I thank God that it was successful. I have gained a lot of experience from the service year especially in education. I was posted to teach in a school and from there I gained a lot of experience," she added.

Also speaking another corps member, Rukkayatu Abdulkarim said transportation in the FCT was also expensive and recounted that motorcycle riders in the FCT demand more money from her when they see her wearing her youth corps uniform.

"What I do now is that whenever I go out, I don't put on my uniform unless it is necessary. When they see you, they believe that you are government 'pikin' so you have a lot of money which is a wrong notion," she said.

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