A University Don, Dr Okpe J Okpe has said the recent calls for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC scheme is unwarranted as the gains of the scheme supercedes the pains.
OKpe, a seasoned Researcher who spoke at a one day round-table discussion on appraising the NYSC Scheme, its prospects, challenges and gains said the scheme can never die.
Okpe who teaches at the Federal University Lafia said
the scheme apart from inculcating discipline in Nigerian youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work also enlightens on loyal service to Nigeria in any situation they may find themselves.
He said the scheme has succeeded in raising he moral tone of the Nigerian youths by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievement, social and cultural improvement
“It has also developed in the Nigerian youths the attitudes of mind, acquired through shared experience and suitable training. which will make them more amenable to mobilisation in the national interest
“It has also enable Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self employment and also contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy
The scheme also assist in developing common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.
Another Speaker at the session, Dr Thomas Uzah who urged the Government to increase the funding of the NYSC scheme said scrapping it will take the country more than 30 years backward.
Uzah said the scheme has gotten to a point where it has come to stay due to its social integration responsibilities.
“The founding fathers of the scheme should be lauded for conceiving the scheme rather than describing as outlived its relevance, the scheme has done a lot of good to the country rather than its negative sides.
Another social commentator, Mojeed Dahiru who also spoke on the continous relevance of the scheme said it has contributed in removing prejudices, eliminate ignorance and confirm at first hand the many similarities among Nigerians of all ethnic groups while also ensuring an equitable distribution of members of the service corps and the effective utilisation of their skills in area of national needs
He said ” As far as possible, youths are assigned to jobs in States other than their States of origin
“That such group of youths assigned to work together is as representative of Nigeria as far as possible
“That the Nigerian youths are exposed to the modes of living of the people in different parts of Nigeria
“That the Nigerian youths are encouraged to eschew religious intolerance by accommodating religious differences
“That members of the service corps are encouraged to seek at the end of their one year national service, career employment all over Nigeria, thus promoting the free movement of labour
“That employers are induced partly through their experience with members of the service corps to employ more readily and on a permanent basis, qualified Nigerians, irrespective of their States of origin”he said