- There are strong murmurs for the NYSC to be done away with.
- The National Youth Service Corps was established in 1973.
General Yakubu Gowon in an attempt to work on the 3R principles (Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation) created the NYSC scheme under Decree no. 24. This was three years after the civil war.
According to the Decree No.51 of June 16, 1993, the NYSC scheme was set up to achieve these objectives;
(a) inculcate discipline in Nigerian youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work, and, of patriotic and loyal service to Nigeria in any situation they may find themselves;
(b) raise the moral tone of the Nigerian youths by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievement, social and cultural improvement;
(c) develop in the Nigerian youths the attitudes of mind, acquired through shared experience and suitable training, which will make them more amenable to mobilisation in the national interest;
(d) enable Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self employment;
(e) contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy;
(f) develop common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration;
(g) remove prejudices, eliminate ignorance and confirm at first hand the many similarities among Nigerians of all ethnic groups; and
(h) develop a sense of corporate existence and common destiny of the people of Nigeria.
44 years after its establishment, there have been strong murmurs for the NYSC to be scrapped especially from young Nigerians. It is unlikely that the one-year mandatory service would be scrapped anytime soon as the debate still rages on.
For those who want the NYSC to be gone, here are five reasons why they feel it has no place in today’s Nigeria.
The NYSC has done nothing to accelerate the growth of the Nigerian economy or contributed much to it. The economy is still reeling from a recession and despite decades of its existence, there is no concrete data that NYSC contributes to the economy in whatever shape or form.
The ghost of Biafra still haunts Nigeria. The unfortunate rise of Nnamdi Kanu is a strong example that the NYSC has failed in its objective to unite Nigerians. Boko Haram, Niger-Delta militants and Arewa youths clearly show that Nigeria is far from united. Yes, inter-tribal marriages exist but tribal prejudices are still very strong in Nigeria.
Young Nigerians don’t need the NYSC to be self-reliant. Successive governments have ignored the youth by neglecting the educational system. Young Nigerians have learnt to be self-reliant a long time ago without the help of the government or NYSC.
A governmental scheme can’t teach morals. This is up to the job of families. The family is the smallest but strongest social group in a society. To fix morals in young people, you have to fix Nigerian families. This is another clear cut example of the government putting the cart before the horse. You learn morals when you are a child and not as a young adult.
The NYSC scheme has been used to create more teaching jobs. The unfortunate thing about this is that young Nigerians who have been exposed to sub-standard teaching over the years impart their half-baked learnings to children in dire need of a solid education. This is a case of the blind leading the blind.
Spending one year in mandatory service is outdated. While our counterparts abroad start to do positive things from an early age, the Nigerian youth is bugged down by a horrible educational system and a mandatory one-year service to a country that has done nothing for them.