NYSC broke, can't mobilise 300,000 corps members - Investigation

For the second time in two years, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is broke and cannot mobilise over 300,000 graduates for the man­datory one-year national as­signment, the media, has learnt.
Top officials of the NYSC said that because of dearth of funds, the agency can only mo­bilise 80,000 graduates for the next batch for the nationwide orientation.

They said that even though the Federal Ministry of Educa­tion was aware of the problem, it cannot intervene because the matter falls under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Youth Affairs.

It was gathered that the NYSC obtained approval for the mobilisation of 300,000 youth corps
members for 2016, and with about 220,000 still under­going the national service, it is no longer in a position to mo­bilise more than 30,000 mem­bers because of lack of money to pay them.

With nearly 200 institutions of higher learning churning out an average of 2,000 graduates each year, about 300,000 grad­uates are mobilised annually for the NYSC programme.

But faced with financial squeeze, the NYSC manage­ment is in a dilemma on what to do because resources at its disposal cannot handle more than 80,000 new corps mem­bers from the expected 400,000 graduates. This implies that 320,000 may remain at home unless the Federal Government saved the situation, sources said.

In line with its tradition, the NYSC will from Monday next week open its website for online registration of prospective corps members.

However, tertiary institu­tions have been directed to up­load the particulars of only 35 percent of their graduates for mobilisation.

When the media contacted the Chairman, House Committee on Youth Develop­ment, Hon. Adekola Segun Al­exander, he said that the devel­opment portends grave danger for Nigeria.

According to him: “It is im­portant for all potential candi­dates to be mobilised for the NYSC. I am not in support of the move by the government to mobilise just a particular num­ber.

“We are sitting on a keg of gun powder.
Recently, I wrote to the Head of Service of the Fed­eration on the rejection of corps members by Ministries, Agen­cies and Departments (MDAs).

“If you keep them longer at home, it will give rise to insur­gency, militancy, prostitution and so many other things. The NYSC was formed to foster uni­ty among Nigerians,” he said.

Also, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth and Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, confirmed the develop­ment and blamed it on inade­quate budgetary provisions for the NYSC.

He said that he had been discussing with the Sports and Youth Minister, Simon Lalong, to find a solution to the prob­lem.

The NYSC Director of Pub­lic Relations, Mrs. Aderibigbe, said that the agency had been talking about its plight, adding that “there is nothing we can do about it except our Director-General succeeded in getting the government to find ways to mobilise all the eligible corps members.

“We can only mobilise the number we can find the re­sources to cater for and there is nothing we can do about it. The number of graduates keeps increasing every year, but our budget is not increasing,” he said.

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