The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has expressed sadness over the poor state of facilities at its orientation camps in some states and local government areas across the country.
The Director General of the NYSC, Brig-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, made the disclosure on Wednesday, April 7, in Abuja in his welcome address at a meeting with representatives of state and local governments nationwide, at a stakeholders forum.
The them of the stakeholders forum is ”Strengthening stakeholders’ support for NYSC Grassroots Development Initiatives for Greater Impact.”
He said though some states deserve commendations for upgrading facilities in the orientation camp and establishment of NYSC State Governing Boards and LGA Committees and payment of state allowances of corps members, a good number of other states are however lagging seriously behind.
”The essence of community participation is to instill in the people the culture of self-help as well as the development of sense of ownership of social amenities provided for them”, Sahara Reporters quoted General Ibrahim as saying.
The D-G said that lack of permanent orientation camps, outdated or inadequate facilities in the camps, lack or shortage of corps lodges, inadequate office accommodation and non-release of the statutory state subvention to the NYSC Secretariats are still faced in such states.
Speaking at the workshop, the Director General said:
“The intervention of NYSC in community development is deliberately designed to be participatory in nature, with the corps members identifying needs, proffering solutions and mobilising the community to provide resources for execution of planned projects.
“I am pleased to report that since the last meeting, a number of states have shown greater commitment to their statutory obligations of NYSC. We have witnessed increased interventions in areas such as the upgrade of facilities in orientation camp, establishment of NYSC State Governing Boards and LGA Committees as well as payment of state allowances of corps members, among others.
“Therefore, I use this opportunity to express gratitude to the affected states for their support with the hope that they will maintain the tempo. On the other hand, there are states and local governments whose performance leaves much to be desired”.
The D-G further said, “Problems such as lack of permanent orientation camps, obsolete or inadequate facilities in the camps, lack or shortage of corps lodges, inadequate office accommodation and non-release of the statutory state subvention to the NYSC Secretariats are still faced in such states”.
He also appeal to those in this category “to show more commitment to providing the enabling environment for smooth conduct of our operations,”
On the trust of the workshop, the Director General said: “One of the major issues this meeting will focus on is reinvigoration of the NYSC grassroots development activities. Those familiar with our operations will attest to the fact that successive batches of corps members have always worked with host communities to address their needs through execution of projects that have now dotted the entire landscape of the country.
Strengthening the complaint that some States did not do well in upgrading the camp facilities, the representative of the Chairman of the NYSC governing board, Dayo Ajibola, claimed that the Southwest states are the most culprits.
“I am from the South-west, Ibadan, Oyo State to be precise and I can tell you that the Soutnwest states are the worst in this neglect of camp facilities,” he said.
The representative of the FCT Minister, an Acting Secretary Area Council Secretariat, Omolona Onanipeku, renewed his appeal for support to the scheme.
“I wish to renew my appeal to all stakeholders to continue to support the NYSC for the successful discharge of its mandate. On our part, the FCT Administration will not relent in the discharge of our statutory responsibilities to the scheme, especially through the upgrade of the NYSC orientation camp as well as security and other welfare provisions for corps members,” she said.