The National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) has said that it has no intention to mobilize prospective corps members anytime soon, especially as the country is still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Director-General of the scheme, Ibrahim Shuaibu, who made this known in an interview with the Economic Confidential, said they don’t know when they will mobilise corps members again.
Mr Shuaibu, a brigadier-general, said the management will only organise fresh orientation exercise the moment the coast becomes clear, and they receive the green light from relevant authorities.
He noted that the Batch A, Stream 1 corps members who were already camping, but had to be hurriedly dismissed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, will be recalled back to their various orientation camps to complete the remaining part of the training.
“We don’t know when we are going to start mobilising our corps members. You know our training is also structured like that of the military and paramilitary. You can see that the Nigerian Navy recently suspended its training for its freshly recruited cadets.
“So, the moment the coast is clear, we are going to key into the way others will conduct their exercise, so that our corps members can be called back soonest.”
Mr Shuaibu expressed delight over the success story of the Scheme’s Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme and the plan to generate revenue from the creative ingenuity and productivity of corps members.
He said: “The SAED programme has recorded tremendous successes, which can even be seen from the activities of our corps members in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Our corps members, nationwide, produced face masks, sanitizers, disinfectant tools, and automatic sanitizing machines. They are also involved in the sensitization and distribution of palliatives of some of these items to communities.
On the plan to commercialise some activities in the scheme for internally generated revenue, the NYSC boss disclosed that when he realised that many people saw NYSC as a burden, the management rejigged the scheme’s ventures to find ways to generate and bring ‘something’ to the table.
“We now have NYSC bread and Table Water Company in Kubwa. We want to see how we can replicate same in the states. So that during orientation exercises we can get these items from our production plants, and feed our corps members in camps.
“Some of our corpers are into fish and snail farming in NYSC farms. We want to embark in commercial farming of rice. We want to key into the Federal Government’s policy on local content on agric business. This is because we don’t want to be a burden on government. Therefore, we must continue to look for ways to internally generate our revenue.”