The governor of Niger State says the NYSC scheme should be extended.
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State on Monday in Minna called on the Federal Government to extend the period of National Youth service from 12 months to 18 months.
The governor made the call when the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Johnson Olawunmi, visited him at Minna Government House.
He said the extension would enable youth corps members to acquire more training which would assist them to be self-employed.
“There is a need for the service year to be extended from 12 months to 18 months to give more room for the corps members to be exposed to more training,” Mr. Aliyu said.
The governor said Nigerians should also appreciate the purpose of establishing the NYSC scheme, which he said was to unite the country, instead of criticising the scheme.
He urged the Director-General to tackle the issue of fake NYSC camps across the country and corps members who evade the service after colluding with the scheme’s officials.
“We must bring back the original concept, the original plan of the founding fathers of the NYSC,” Mr. Aliyu said.
The governor also said corps members who failed to participate in the scheme should be sanctioned. He said his administration would soon establish a new orientation camp for corps members deployed to the state.
Mr. Aliyu, who did not disclose the cost of the project, said the first phase would include the construction of hostel blocks, director’s quarters, and the guards’ quarters.
He said the state government would collaborate with the NYSC to enable youth corps members deployed to the state live in peace and harmony with their host communities.
Earlier, Mr. Olawunmi had said he was impressed with the temporary NYSC Orientation Camp at Paiko, near Minna and the level of collaboration between the scheme and the state government.
He said the scheme had begun the computerisation of its activities in order to check the proliferation of NYSC camps and fish out fake NYSC members.
“As the election year approaches, there is the need for government to adopt measures to secure the lives and properties of youth corps members,” the director-general said.