Ogheneuvwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-General Sulaiman Zakari Kazaure, has said despite the inadequate budgetary allocation, which has stalled the agency’s operation in the past few months, President Muhammadu Buhari has given a matching order to the agency to mobilise all qualified prospective corps members for the 2016 Batch ‘’B’’ service year.
In all, the NYSC boss said over 170,000 corps members would be mobilised this month, while the remaining 86,000 members would be mobilised in January next year.
Kazaure stated this while interacting with journalists in Abuja wednesday.
According to him, “In the past few weeks, the NYSC has been in the news over its presumed inability to mobilise all qualified prospective corps members for the 2016 Batch B service years. As much as there is always public interest in the affairs of the scheme, there is the need to put the fact in their right perspective and clear the lingering doubt.
“In summary, the NYSC is prepared as always, to mobilise all qualified graduates for the next service batch. However, it must be emphasised that as a budget-dependent organisation, the scope of our activities is facing financial constraints like every other government agency in the present recession.’’
Explaining his constrain, he said in the 2016 budget, provision was made for the mobilisation of a total of 210,000 corps members, saying the figure for both 2016 Batch A and Batch B had more than doubled the original projection.
“Like we did before the 2016 Batch A orientation course, we have appealed to the government for special intervention grant to mop up the excess of this figure.
“So far, we have received the green light from the relevant government agencies to prepare for the mobilisation of all qualified prospective corps members. However, the limited cumulative capacity of the orientation camps nationwide necessitates a second stream orientation course for the 2016 Batch B, which is being planned for January 2017,’’ the NYSC boss added.
While thanking President Buhari for his unwavering support for the scheme, Kazaure added that the president has had to personally intervene in the agency most difficult circumstances and approved special grants for the mobilisation of excess numbers of prospective corps members and ordered that all qualified corps members be mobilised
The NYSC chief executive also amplified the role of the state and local governments in the sustenance of the NYSC scheme, adding that it had presented the biggest of the challenges faced by the scheme in the past few years.
He added: “It is pertinent to state that the NYSC Act has clearly stated the responsibilities of all the three tiers of government in the operations of the scheme.
“In as much as the federal government takes the lion share, the provision of orientation camp facilities, post-camp accommodation and transport of corps members, logistic support for inspection of corps locations, material support for community development service and security of corps members are the responsibilities of the state and local governments.’’
General Kazaure however stated that most of the state and local governments do not live up to their responsibilities in the erroneous assumption that the NYSC is a project for the federal government alone.
He said this attitude is most glaring in the limited capacity and quality of facilities in most orientation camps across the country, hence the inability of the agency to accommodate more than 78,000 prospective corps members in one orientation course.
The NYSC therefore appealed to the state and local governments, who are not discharging their statutory responsibilities to reconsider their stance and support the scheme.