Restructuring NYSC, solution to unemployment
By Ikyobo James Aondover

It is no doubt that the history of our country since independence has clearly indicated the need for unity amongst our people in all ramifications and in every sense of human endeavour, and the demonstrated fact that no cultural or geographical entity can exist in isolation paved way for the establishment of NYSC scheme which was created in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war. The Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s led administration of 1973 capitalizes on the unfortunate antecedents to establish the National Youth Service scheme which is one of the functional national schemes today.

Gen. Gowon’s priority to peace, unity and national progress after the war consequently gave rise to the birth of the scheme. Undeniably, the establishment of the scheme materialized the reconstruction agenda of the then government for the fact that it projected the reality of a united, strong and self-reliant nation. The NYSC scheme actually solved the disunity problem which was the major issue in the Nigerian polity. However, the scheme is not loudly applauded today in the sense that issues in the Gen. Gowon’s military era which overtime have become secondary problems of the country is been prioritized by the scheme instead of focusing on the primary problem of the country which is unemployment.

Yes, the youths have answered the clarion call to serve their father land under the sun or in the rain but how about their future? Should they go to their villages after the service empty handed?

What then is the benefit of risking one’s life in a strange land without enough food? How can the youths do better when they are aware of what will impinge them after service year? What and where are the dividends of serving a father at a youthful stage? These and many more questions that I expect the Federal Government should use the scheme to address if really she has the interest of the youths at heart.

The numbers of graduates are increasing rapidly on the daily basis in Nigeria so also the number of unemployed youths.

After the 21 days of NYSC orientation programme, the government should use the over seven hundred thousand that is budget for a Corp member per year to make them financially independent by settling them to start any business of their choice afterwards. If this is done seventy percent of the yearly graduated students will become financially viable and by that the primary problem of the country which is unemployment will drastically reduced to a national meager issue. Until this is done the Nigerian youths are not benefiting anything from NYSC scheme.

Ikyobo James Aondover, a Corps Member serving in Port Harcourt, Rivers State