The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has abruptly ended activities at orientation camps across the country.
The Batch A orientation camps for graduates started last week, March 10, and were supposed to last for 21 days.
Corps members in the camps were, however, shocked when they were told in the middle of the night Wednesday that the camps had closed and they were all to receive their letters to places of primary assignment.
The corps members said they were told this was due to the coronavirus crisis.
We were called out and informed about the camp suspension at about 1a.m. today, a corps member serving in Gombe told PREMIUM TIMES.
Another serving in Plateau said they were informed of the suspension very early on Wednesday morning.
The NYSC management later released a statement confirming the suspension of the orientation camps nationwide.
”Sequel to the Coronavirus pandemic which led to the canellation of the National Sports Festival, Management of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme wishes to announce the suspension of the on-going Orientation Course for the 2020 Batch ”A” Stream 1 Corps Members.
“Therefore, the corps Members shall be posted to commence their primary assignments forthwith, while they shall be invited back to the Orientation Camps when the situatiion improves, just like it happened a few years ago when the Nation was confronted by the Ebola Virus threat.
“The Management wishes to state that no Corps Member or Camp Official has contracted the virus.”
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, whose ministry supervises the NYSC, also wrote on Twitter that the government took the action as a precautionary measure against Covid-19. He said the corps members will be paid their allowances.
Today across the country, the NYSC Orientation camps will be closed and Youth Corpers will be paid and sent to their places of primary assignment. This again is a precautionary measure on D part of the government to check the spread of COVID-19. The DG NYSC will provide details
— Sunday Dare (@SundayDareSD) March 18, 2020
PREMIUM TIMES reported how President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday postponed the National Sports Festival due to the fear of the coronavirus spreading.
Nigeria has now had eight cases of the virus, with one of the victims recovering fully. No one has died from the disease in Nigeria.
On Wednesday, Nigeria announced travel restrictions on 13 countries with more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus. The countries include China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland.