NYSC votes N83bn for 350,000 corps members in 2018
The National Youth Service Corps has increased the number of corps members it will absolve in 2018 by 53,000 graduates, bringing the new figure to 350,000.
The agency mobilised 297,293 corps members nationwide in 2017 and paid them N67, 383,359,602 as allowances.
The corps members are spread across two batches and two streams in 2017, with each stream having about 74,000 corps members.
With the new increment in the number of corps members this year, the NYSC, according to its 2018 budget, has earmarked N83,160,000,000 for their allowances.
Apart from the N3,200 paid to each corps member during the three-month orientation in camps, the NYSC also pays N19, 800 as monthly allowance to the each of them.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the NYSC could only accommodate 260,000 corps members in 2016 owing to recession.
Excerpts from the NYSC 2017 budget showed that apart from allowances, the NYSC spent N2,491,681,500 for kitting of the 297,293 corps members and N3,272,103,431 for meals for 21 days.
Apart from the corps members, the budget for feeding, at N500 per meal, included 74,326 camp officials.
In the 2018 budget, the agency will spend N11,651,846,453 on kitting, transport allowances and feeding for the 350,000 corps members.
As the spate of insecurity in the country becomes a major concern, our correspondents learnt that there was now an increase in the insurance provision for the injured, the sick and dead corps members.
It was gathered that the payment of the insurance cover must go through rigorous processes which only the NYSC headquarters, Abuja, had the sole authority on.
It was also learnt that the insurance cover expired after 12 months of the service year.
The NYSC started a Hope Alive Scheme in 2014 for corps members who sustained injuries and became permanently disabled during the service years.
NYSC sources said for dead corps members, the premiums were paid to their families after a few months, but the “amounts paid are strictly confidential and discretionary.”
An authoritative source told SUNDAY PUNCH that the premiums across boards were recently reviewed in line with the present socio-economic realities.
He said, “We have premium schemes for corps members. Recently, the premiums were reviewed but I don’t know the specific amount; it is secretive. Every corps member is covered, including the NYSC workers.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Youths, which has oversight duties over the NYSC, Mr. Segun Adekola, said investigations by his panel indicated that the scheme was battling with inadequate funding.
“The NYSC doesn’t even have the money; there are funding challenges. Over time, it is the legislature that intervenes to get funding for the scheme to go on and to ensure that there is no backlog unnecessarily,” the lawmaker stated.