Ex Kaduna Central lawmaker, Shehu Sani, has opined that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has united Nigeria.
He made the submission in a Twitter post while reacting to a statement earlier credited to the NYSC Director General (DG), Brigadier General Yushau Dogara Ahmed, that the scheme has fostered national unity.
Reacting on his Twitter page on Tuesday morning, the former lawmaker said: “The NYSC has not succeeded in uniting our country, but it has made significant & outstanding contributions in that direction.
“It has lifelong established relationships, partnerships & marriages across the walls of our ethnic & religious identities.
“It’s a cement across our diversities and divisions. Not for the service, many wouldn’t have known any other part of the country other than their own.
Thank you to General Yakubu Gowon, and Happy 50th Birthday to NYSC.”
Reacting to the calls for the scrapping of NYSC, the Director of South West Area Office of the NYSC, Amusan Oluwole Julius, said such a call was unnecessary.
Julius said this while delivering a speech at a Unity Walk organized to mark the 50th anniversary of the scheme in Osun during the weekend.
Speaking on behalf of the NYSC Director General, Brigadier General Yushau Dogara Ahmed, Julius reminded Nigerians that a lot had been recorded and achieved in the 50 years of the scheme’s existence.
He acknowledged that though there may be issues in the past, the challenges of the NYSC are not enough to call for its scrapping.
Julius said: “NYSC has done this nation a lot of good. The NYSC is felt in all the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
“Calling for the scrapping is not the best thing anybody can talk of now.
“You will agree that NYSC has made giant strides in the last 50 years.
“When you look back from 1973 when this scheme came into being, areas like education, health care delivery, social service campaigns, national programmes, NYSC has made a lot of impacts in those areas.”
He reiterated that NYSC had met the expectations of its founding fathers.
“When you are talking of fostering national unity, through this scheme, inter-ethnic marriages have occurred, we have seen mobility of labour, corpers being retained in their states of service, many Corpers have established their own businesses in the various states where they are posted,” Julius added noting that the challenges of the NYSC are the same with any other organisation.
“The major problem is the issue of finance that has not been adequate to meet all the needs but kudos need to be given to the government for their inputs in the last 50 years.
“They have been meeting expectations, but there is still a need for improvement in the area of funding,” Julius said.