By Success Nwogu
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps, Brig-Gen. Maharatzu Tsiga, has urged the Federal Government not to scrap the scheme.
He said the scheme had contributed significantly to national integration, peaceful coexistence and development, reasoning that the NYSC should rather be strengthened.
There has been a call for the scrapping of the programme initiated in 1973 following the killing of about 10 corps members in Bauchi State over the outcome of the presidential election in April.
Speaking during the 2011 NYSC annual management conference in Ilorin on Wednesday, Tsiga commended President Goodluck Jonathan for giving N5m to each of the families of the slain corps members.
He described the death of the corps members as regrettable and sad.
He also commended the corps members for their efforts in nation building, saying there had been increased collaborative efforts of governmental and non-governmental organizations with the commission.
Tsiga said, “The most recent collaboration was with the Independent National Electoral Commission which culminated in the level of success recorded in the just concluded 2011 general elections. This performance is a clear testimony of the fact that Nigeria has a great future and good asset in her youths.
“The continuous showering of encomiums, appreciation and visit to NYSC by the various stakeholders, particularly the international election observers, which included the International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute and the European Union, are acknowledgement and recognition of the selfless work and sacrifices of these illustrious young men and women.”
The State Coordinator, NYSC, Kwara State, Mrs. A.C. Makinde, said the state government had significantly supported the scheme and commended the corps members for what she called their dedication and hardwork.
The Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Oluwole Ayeni, said NYSC members had contributed significantly to the development of the nation and the state in particular. He added that the scheme should be sustained, adding that the state would continue to support it.
He said, “On the strength of these virtues, I wish to state that no effort should be spared in ensuring the sustainability of the NYSC Scheme. We must not allow any form of sentiment to becloud our judgement on the continued relevance of the scheme.”
Thursday, 19 May 2011