The Nigerian Senate has on Wednesday rejected a bill that sought to prohibit the posting of NYSC members to states where there are conflict.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi who also advocated a N50bn insurance package for corps members.
Presenting the lead debate on Wednesday, Adetunmbi said it would increase the monetary allowances paid to the corps members in view of the declining purchasing power of the naira since the last time their remuneration was reviewed.
The bill provided for the evacuation of corps members in conflict areas, making it the sole responsibility of the state governments.
He said, “The first amendment proposes that section 1 of the Principal Act be amended by inserting some provisions which prohibit the posting of corps members to states where conflict exists.”
Senators, however, opposed the bill on the grounds that the amendments sought could be effected by administrative means.
It was argued that since the changes could be brought about through administrative means, based on the NYSC Act No 84, there was no need to undertake an amendment through legislation.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, noted that the bill was a long way to achieving changes that could easily be achieved administratively.
He said, “In view of section 315 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the NYSC Act can only be amended through constitutional amendment.”
President of the Senate, David Mark, adopted the views canvassed against the bill, saying that it would be wrong to seek to amend the NYSC Act on the basis of insecurity.
He said, “Whatever insecurity that exists today is temporary and we should not fashion our laws along that line. The insecurity we notice today is temporary and will not last for long.”
According Mark, most of the changes proposed in the NYSC bill are not things that ought to be in a bill but can be effected through administrative processes.
The bill was subsequently withdrawn as opposition to it was sustained.