The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has assured members of the public that the scheme has made all necessary preparations to ensure the mobilisation of all eligible prospective corps members in the next service year.
Brig.-Gen. Sulaiman Kazaure gave the assurance in Abuja on Wednesday during a Media Parley organised by the scheme for Editors and Reporters of various media organisations in the country.
Kazaure explained that although the scheme could presently cater for only 86,000 out of the 170,000 screened for the next service year it had taken necessary precautions to ensure the rest partook in the service.
“In the 2016 budget, provision was made for the mobilisation of a total of 210,000 corps members. However, the figure for both 2016 Batch ‘A’ and Batch ‘B’ has more than doubled the original projection.
“Like we did before the 2016 Batch ‘A’ orientation course, we have appealed to government for special intervention grant to mop up excess of this figure.
“So far, we have received the green light from the relevant government agencies to prepare for the mobilisation of all qualified prospective corps members.
“However, the limited cumulative capacity of the orientation camps nationwide necessitates a second stream orientation course for the 2016 Batch ‘B’ which is planned for January 2017,” the director-general said.
Kazaure commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his personal intervention in strengthening the operations of the scheme and some state governors for their support toward promoting national unity and development.
The director-general, however, appealed to defaulting states, local government councils and NGOs to support the NYSC in delivering its national development objectives, pointing out that lack of support remain the biggest challenge of the scheme.
According to him, this attitude is most glaring in the limited capacity and quality of facilities in most orientation camps across the country; hence the inability of the corps to accommodate more than 78,000 in one orientation course.
He therefore called on all state and local governments to wake up to their responsibilities of assisting the scheme in the provision of orientation camp facilities and post-camp accommodation and transport of corps members.
Kazaure listed other responsibilities to include logistics support for inspection of corps locations, material support for Community Development Service (CDS) and security of corps members during the service year.
This notwithstanding, the director-general disclosed that the corps is collaborating with about 12 organisations and agencies to deliver its mandate on national development.
Similarly, he said that the scheme had trained more than 600,000 corps members on various skills to be self reliant in the last four years, adding that nine beneficiaries of the Presidential; awardees have been granted automatic employment into Federal Civil Service in addition to cash donations.
Besides, the director-general said that more than 300,000 rural communities have benefitted from the NYSC medical outreach conducted in October 2015, among other achievements.
He pledged that the scheme would continue to sensitise corps members to maintain neutrality, honesty and commitment to electoral duties.
Earlier, the Director of Press, Mrs Bose Aderibigbe, described the media parley as an avenue for the scheme to enlist the support of the media in showcasing its activities with a view to sustain public appreciation of the schemes relevance.
She appealed to the media to continue imbibe the ethical principles of objectivity and balanced reportage especially in handling issues affecting the scheme to avert the negative impacts of misrepresented facts.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the stream I of the next batch for NYSC mobilisation, which is the 2016 Batch ‘B’, would commence orientation exercise on Nov. 24.
The 2016 Batch ‘B’ stream II are expected to commence orientation in January 2017.