Former head of state and founder of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme, Gen Yakubu Gowon and other prominent Nigerians have called for the establishment of NYSC Trust Fund to boost the finances of the agency.
They made the call in Abuja yesterday during the official unveiling of nine books on the NYSC and its maiden Film titled: “A Call To Service” in commemoration of the 48th anniversary of the scheme.
Gowon, who spoke virtually at the event, said contrary to calls against the scrapping of the scheme, it is making a significant impact on the development of Nigeria.
He said the scheme is one of the best things that has happened to Nigeria, adding that it is exposing youths to life changing opportunities and has contributed immensely to the development of the country.
While commending the NYSC management for bringing reforms to the scheme over the past years he said, “Great effort should be made by the government to strengthen the Scheme.”
The nine books included “The NYSC (1973-2020): Emergence, Growth And Development, NYSC and National Development, NYSC and Community Development Service in Nigeria, NYSC and Election in Nigeria, NYSC and National Integration, NYSC and Nigeria’s Health Sector, NYSC and the Educational Sector, NYSC and COVID-19 pandemic and NYSC and Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development.”
NYSC director-general, Brig. Gen. Shaibu Ibrahim said the books chronicled NYSC contributions to national development, adding that the publications will enrich the knowledge of Nigerians about the scheme and engender greater appreciation of its relevance.
He said: “Despite various challenges in its 48 years of operation, the NYSC has been a remarkable success. By largely discharging its mandate through the nation’s development objectives, the scheme has become a national asset and a beacon of hope to Nigerian youths.
The president of Historical Society of Nigeria, Professor Okpeh O. Okpeh, who reviewed the books, said NYSC is one of the significant institutions that is holding Nigerians together. “It is significant to Nigeria’s development from a point that covers inter-marriages to the unity of Nigeria,” noting that without the NYSC “our national health sector would have collapsed.”
On his part, the chairman, House Committee on Youth Development, Yemi Adaramodu, stressed the imperative of the scheme in unifying the country, saying that no one will stop its existence in the country.
The governor of Nsarawa State, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, also stressed the imperative of the NYSC in national unity.