The Area Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps in the South -West, Mr Emmanuel Attah, tells FEMI MAKINDE that corps members’ participation in elections has brought credibility to polls in the country
There are claims in some quarters that the NYSC has lost its relevance and that is should be scrapped. What is your view about this?
We will continue to appreciate the vision of the founding fathers of the NYSC. The scheme was established after the unfortunate civil war by Gen Yakubu Gowon to further cement the union of the nation. The scheme has been integrating the youths and it has even been doing much more. The NYSC is moving ahead and the programme is even more relevant now than when it was established. So many graduates who participated in the scheme know its relevance and it offered many of them the opportunities to know more about people from other cultures apart from their localities.What is the essence of the area offices created by the NYSC in the six geo-political zones in the country?
The NYSC created area offices following the approval given by the Federal Government through the Head of Service of the Federation. The NYSC had requested the approval for the creation of the area offices. The aim of the NYSC is to centralise its operations. This is to make sure that the management of the scheme is closer to the corps members. The population of corps members is always increasing because the number of graduates being produced every year is also increasing. We are mobilising over 350,000 prospective corps members every year and this number is huge. This number is quite massive and the NYSC knows that there is the need for better supervision of these youths and their activities. From this figure, I can tell you that within the next two years, the figure can rise to about 500,000 a year. So, there is the need to bring administration to the grassroots, it should be close to the corps members who are central to the operations of the NYSC and that is the reason for this. The area offices in the geo-political zones of the country will ensure better supervision of the scheme and the corps members. The skill acquisition programme of the scheme will also be better supervised by these area offices.