A bill to scrap the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme has now reached second reading at the House of Representatives.
Known as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alteration Bill 2020, the sponsor Awaji-Inombek Abiante, in the explanatory memorandum of the proposal, listed the various reasons why the NYSC should be scrapped.
He said the bill seeks to repeal Section 315(5)(a) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) on the following grounds: “Incessant killing of innocent corps members in some parts of the country due to banditry, religious extremism and ethnic violence; incessant kidnapping of innocent corps members across the country;
“Public and private agencies/departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths, thus relying heavily on the availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year without any hope of being gainfully employed;
“Due to insecurity across the country, the National Youth Service Corps management now gives considerations to posting corps members to their geopolitical zone, thus defeating one of the objectives of setting up the service corps, i.e. developing common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.”
Military ruler General Yakubu Gowon (retd.) established the NYSC on May 22, 1973, under Decree No. 24 of 1973 as a way of reconciling and reintegrating Nigerians after the civil war between July 6, 1967 and January 15, 1970.