Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Attahiru Jega has called for the redesign of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme as a voluntary programme for Nigerian graduates.
He spoke at a commemoration of the NYSC’s 50th anniversary on Monday which had past and present director generals of the scheme in attendance.
The golden jubilee, which had the theme ‘Five Decades of Fostering Unity and Development’, was also attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare; Chairman, NYSC Governing Board, Fatima Abubakar; service chiefs; and corp members, among others.
Jega, who was a guest speaker at the event, argued that the Federal Government needed to make the scheme more favourable to the Nigerian youth, adding that it should adjust to global best practices, if it must be mandatory.
Delivering a lecture, he highlighted the successes of the scheme but called for appropriate repositioning to make it more relevant to the times.
However, not everyone agreed with Jega as some others were of the view that the NYSC in last five decades had lived up to the essence of its establishment, particularly regarding community development.
For Chairman, NYSC Governing Board, Fatima Abubakar, the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to the NYSC Trust Fund Bill would make a significant difference.
While acknowledging the remarkable contributions of the scheme to national development, there were also recommendations for the repositioning of the scheme to help it adjust to global best practices.
The celebration also afforded participants the opportunity to reflect on the essence of the scheme, namely national unity and integration.