Scrapping of NYSC will lead to increase in crimes, HURIWA warns


By Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has stated that the social menace of crimes will spiral out of control should the Federal Government accede to demands to scrap the National Youth Service Corps.

It said the scheme has provided Nigerian youths the opportunity to acquire the spirit of self-reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self-employment; contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy and to develop common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.

HURIWA added that scrapping the scheme will erode all these gains the NYSC offers youths.

The organisation stated that its research and opinion poll showed that Nigerians want the scheme to be preserved.

The scheme, which is in its 48 years of existence, is facing threats of being scrapped.

A House of Representatives member, Mr Awaji-Inombek Abiante in a Bill that has passed the second reading in the National Assembly called for the scrapping of the scheme because of insecurity.

But the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko in a statement said: “If there is one thing the National Assembly has done exceedingly well since the return of the country to democracy in 1999, it is playing to the gallery. Inconsequential laws have always received greater attention while the lacunas to be filled with progressive legislations and legislative interventions are left largely unattended to.

“One of such distractions is the proposed law for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme. The proposed bill before the House of Representatives seeks to repeal Section 315(5)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) .

READ ALSO:Scrapping of NYSC may threaten unity of Nigeria – A’Ibom Coordinator

“The NYSC scheme has been such a brilliant idea that it has been copied by many other countries. One wonders what example Nigeria as a country would be showing such countries by scrapping the scheme the nation sold to them.

“After a well-considered research and opinion poll conducted by HURIWA, the preponderance of opinion is that President Muhammadu Buhari should jealously preserve the National legacies that the NYSC scheme represents.”

Onwubiko, who said the scheme needed some urgent reforms, added that insecurity remained a major challenge confronting it.

“Obviously, the NYSC scheme is in an urgent need for reforms. Insecurity is no doubt a major challenge confronting the scheme. But this is a national problem, which the scrapping of the NYSC cannot cure. What needs to be done is the receivers of the corps members to undertake to do the needful, beginning with the provision of adequate accommodation in secure environments.

“Local Government Corpers lodges have to be built in all LGs with adequate security arrangements. We understand that the hierarchy of NYSC has made extensive contacts with state governments and has even kick-started the campaign for setting up the NYSC YOUTH TRUST FUND to revitalise the NYSC.

“HURIWA believes that this is the best way to go instead of throwing away the baby with the bathwater,” the statement added.

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