The Vice-Chancellor, Kwara State University, Ilorin, Prof. AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, has advised the Federal Government not to yield to the pressure from some stakeholders to scrap the National Youth Service Corps programme.
There has been raging argument on the continued relevance or otherwise of the NYSC scheme after the killings of some corps members during the post-electoral violence that erupted in some states in Northern Nigeria last month.
Many people had called on President Goodluck Jonathan to scrap the scheme, while some other opinion leaders had advised prospective corps members to reject postings away from their regions of origin.
They said the measures were necessary to prevent wanton destruction of innocent and productive young Nigerians.
Na’Allah, however, in an interview with our correspondent on Sunday, said scrapping the scheme was not in the best interest of the nation, adding that it could be counter-productive.
He stated that though the loss of human lives and destruction of property was sad and regrettable, NYSC should be retained. The VC added that the law enforcement agencies should also be strengthened to make them more efficient in the discharge of their functions.
The VC said NYSC had ensured national integration and co-existence, adding that the nation still needed such interaction and integration to build a more united, virile and prosperous nation.
“So, the killing of the members of the NYSC is not enough reason to scrap a laudable programme such as the NYSC scheme. The NYSC programme has two set objectives: To ensure that this large nation called Nigeria with so many ethnic nations, remain united. You may not believe it, when I stay with people from United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Russia and tell them that Nigeria has over 400 languages, they are shocked, they could not believe it. They wonder such a nation in the world that have so many languages as ours. They are unable to understand how Nigeria can be a country and how we could be working together as a nation.
“One of the reasons, for the NYSC programme is that we interact as a nation. So Nigeria still needs such interaction. We still need people from different ethnic groups to interact with one another. It is necessary that people will even live in other regions, eat their foods, interact with them and know much about their lives and probably pick up some elements of their languages, wear their clothes and even partake in community development. Some can work on bridges, others can also work on adult education and other community development ventures. This kind of interaction will help build our nation and fuse us together as one. The advantages of retaining the scheme far outweigh the disadvantages of this unfortunate incidence,” he said.
Source: Punch Newspapers