Nigeria House of Representatives is considering the repeal of the National Youth Service Corps Act.
Former Head of State, Rtd. General Yakubu Gowon’s administration introduced NYSC on May 22, 1973, in a bid to foster unity amongst the nation’s diverse ethnic groups in the aftermath of the civil war.
However, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alteration Bill, 2020, which seeks to discontinue the NYSC programme, has been billed for the second reading.
In an explanatory memorandum of the proposal, the bill’s sponsor, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, listed various reasons why the NYSC Act should be repealed.
According to him, insecurity in the form of ethnic agitations and rising kidnapping cases warrant the discontinuation of the programme.
The memo reads, “This bill seeks to repeal Section 315(5)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (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.”