A bill to amend the 1999 constitution to scrap the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
The bill was introduced last week by Awaji-Inimbek Abiante (PDP, Rivers). It is seeking to repeal section 315(5a) of the 1999 constitution and the National Youth Service Corps Act.
According to the synopsis of the bill obtained by PREMIUMTIMES, Mr Abiante cited insecurity, exploitation by place of primary assignment and poor state of orientation camps.
The scheme was set up in 1973 by the Yakubu Gowon administration, as part of strategies to foster unity in the post-civil war era.
It was established by decree 24.
However, the scheme has come under heavy criticism of late because of the deteriorating security situation in the country.
PREMIUMTIMES had reported the neglect of a corps member affected by the Suleja bomb blast of 2011.
In December, armed robbers attacked 17 corps members, killing one along Abuja-Kaduna road.
“Sadly, after several decades, the programme has failed to address the essence of its establishment, while several reform efforts have also not yielded desired results, but has continued to be a drain on our scarce resources and exposing families to several nightmares and even loss of loved ones after so much investment,” Mr Abiante argued.
He added that “public and private agencies/departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths, thus relying heavily on the availability of Corps members who are not well remunerated.
“Due to insecurity across the country, the NYSC management now gives considerations to posting Corps members to their geo-political zones, thus defeating one of the objectives of setting up the service corps.”
The road ahead for the bill
The bill, which is a constitution alteration bill, will have to go through second reading, committee stage, the committee of the whole, third reading, concurrence with Senate and passage by two-third of the Houses of Assembly in states.
The president’s assent is the final hurdle for it to become law.
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