Presidential candidate for the African Action Congress (AAC) party, Omoyele Sowore, has disclosed his plan to scrap the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme for a voluntary two-year expanded job opportunity for fresh graduates if elected by Nigerians as the next president in the 2023 election.
Mr Sowore, a human rights activist, said this on his Twitter page on Monday.
He tweeted, “As President of Nigeria, what is NOW known as National Youth Service Corps @officialnyscng would no longer be compulsory, instead it will become a voluntary 2-year expanded “Job Corps” programme for fresh graduates.”
NYSC is a programme set up by the Nigerian government during the military regime to involve Nigerian graduates in nation-building and the development of the country.
There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973, graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps programme for one year. This is known as the national service year.
As President of Nigeria, what is NOW known as National Youth Service Corps @officialnyscng would no longer be compulsory, instead it will become a voluntary 2-year expanded âJob Corpsâ programme for fresh graduates. #powerofboldideas #SoworeForPresident pic.twitter.com/UjaDunAOSs
— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) May 16, 2022
Ahmadu Ali served as the first Director-General of the NYSC until 1975. The incumbent Director-General is Shuaibu Ibrahim.
The programme has been met with criticism from a large portion of the country and complaints from corps members about their remuneration. Some youths carrying out the NYSC programme have been killed in the regions where they were sent due to religious, ethnic or political violence.
Aside from the issue of security, many have challenged the continued importance of the programme and have called for a dialogue in this regard.
This call for the scrapping of NYSC has been met with mixed feelings. While some past leaders are against the scrapping of the scheme, saying its gains outweigh its losses, some Nigerians feel the scheme has lost its use and should be scrapped to avoid endangering the lives of innocent Nigerians to insecurity and unnecessary one-year stress.
SaharaReporters, New York