President Buhari: Need to Restructure Nigeria’s Youth Service (NYSC), By Abdulmujeeb Yemi Olaoya
Dear President Buhari,
As you are aware Sir, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme was established with the sole aim of fostering national unity and social integration along the ethnic divides of the Nigeria nation. Forty-three years after, we cannot sincerely avow to be more united than before as a nation. This alongside the notice of several other inadequacies by compatriots led to the clamour in some quarters for the total cancellation of the Scheme, claiming it has outlived its intentions and usefulness.
However, I am writing purposely on how we can re-modify this programme to boost our unity and improve socio-economic indices, while creating job for our teeming youths, reducing crime and restiveness and ensuring true diversfication of our economy and subsequent independent from oil as the major source of foreign earnings in Nigeria.
From the available information, the Nigerian government, which you head, spends about three hundred thousand naira (#3oo,ooo.oo) on each corp’s member for logistics and annual allowances. Again, in each year, more than a hundred thousand graduates from our various degree-awarding institutions participate in this Scheme. Therefore, the government allocates nothing less than thirty billion naira (#30,000,000,000.00) without corresponding national unity and integration, commensurate to this huge investment on the Nigerian youths yearly.
Sir, it is high time we remodified/restructured the NYSC programme not only as a means of mass mobilisation of our teeeming youth into agriculture (through the farm settlement scheme), and re-orientate their psyche of white and blue collar jobs as the only means of getting quick wealth, improve on food security, curb youth restiveness across the country expressed through militancy, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape and cultism. The youth should also be encouraged to go into agro-business after their mandatory service to the nation, through knowledge transfer and acquired skills.
Furthermore, if in each service year, each corp member should be incentivised to manage an acre or more of either cocoa, palm oil, other food or cash crops, or livestocks. From these, we would have harvests from thousand of cultivated acres annually. That alone can feed us satisfactorily, put more monies into the treasury, while giving us peace of mind, irrespective of the price of oil in the international markets.
History has taught us that the youth are the agents of change. Mr. President, we need to harness the abundant talents, agility, and innovativeness of the Nigerian youth for the betterment of our country.
I wish you good luck in your strive to make Nigeria a better place for all.
Abdulmujeeb Yemi Olaoya