Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
Former Head of State and founder of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has stated that the NYSC has contributed to national development more than any other organisation in the country.
He stated this yesterday during the formal unveiling of nine books on NYSC and the maiden NYSC film in Abuja to commemorate the 48th anniversary of the scheme.
Gowon, while speaking virtually, advised both the federal and state governments to consider the idea of a trust fund being championed by the Director-General NYSC, Brig. Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim, to improve the scheme.
According to him, “The NYSC has contributed to national development more than any other organisation in the country. The authorities should consider setting up a trust fund for the scheme.
“I thank all the stakeholders who have made this scheme a success, and I thank those who have documented all the achievements of the scheme and this will promote the understanding of its operations.”
Also speaking at the event, the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, said there is no price for unity, which the corps is giving to Nigerians.
He said: “No price for unity; and NYSC defines the unity of Nigeria. The scheme has helped in modeling my life. Posterity will ever be grateful to NYSC.”
In his speech, the DG of NYSC said with the proposed establishment of a National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund, the scheme looks forward to having a sustainable plan for periodic improvement and expansion of the establishment’s camp facilities, revamping of the skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development programme, provision of start-up grants for corps entrepreneurs as well as steps that will make it even more impactful
He added that the scheme’s medical team would be in some rural communities from June 21 to 24 to give free medical services to rural dwellers, calling for support from well-meaning individuals and corporate organisations.
The nine books unveiled are: The NYSC (1973-2020), Emerging Growth and Development; NYSC and National Development; NYSC and Community Development Service in Nigeria; NYSC and Elections in Nigeria, and NYSC and National Integration.
Others are NYSC and Nigeria’s Health Sector; NYSC and COVID-19 Pandemic; NYSC and Nigeria’s Education Sector; and NYSC and Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development.
The books reviewer, Prof. Oche Okpe, said the NYSC scheme is still very relevant to the country.