20 January 2012
The Minister of Youth Development Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, on Wednesday in
, said that plans were underway to make the NYSC scheme go beyond mere national orientation. Abuja
The minister who spoke at an interview session with newsmen said the NYSC needed to be transformed for national service and rural development.
Abdullahi said that over the 38 years of the scheme, the aim had been just national orientation and integration, stressing that time had come when the scheme ought to become more beneficial.
He stressed that in as much as the nation still needed national integration; there was a need for corps members to also benefit from the scheme in terms of skills acquisition and knowledge.
“Beyond this, in 2012, we are saying that we must find other justification for the NYSC beyond national integration, even as important as national integration is.
“There is no point going to school for four years or five years or years then coming out to give one year of your life to the NYSC: a scheme that you consider to be a waste of time anyway as most young people think the NYSC is now.
“We have to transform the NYSC into an NYSC of national service and national development which was the original idea behind the NYSC; beyond national integration it’s also for rural development.
“When young people serve their country for one year, what do they get in return? So in that context, we say okay we can use that one year to also give certain skills to them that are marketable.”
The minister said that additional training to be received during the service year, such as business management courses, would help to fill some of the academic gaps some university and polytechnics graduates came out with after school.
He added that the vision of the ministry and that of the NYSC was a situation where when an applicant presented the NYSC discharge certificate, employers would be able to employ them due to the capacity acquired during the service year...