- As Sokoto increases allowances of corps members
No fewer than 2,251 National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members begin orientation in Kaduna and President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that his administration is aware of the challenges militating against smooth running of the programme, which include infrastructural deficit and dwindling resource allocation.
This is even as Sokoto government has jacked up allowances of the corps members serving in the state, with a pledge to begin immediate implementation of the new payment structure.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal announced the new policy during the swearing-in ceremony of 2006 Batch A Stream II corps members at the state NYSC orientation camp in Wamakko.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that the management of the scheme has rescheduled the 2016 batch ‘A’ activities severally as a result of non release of funds by the federal government, but Buhari said the problem is due to monumental growth in the graduate population and inadequate corresponding provisions.
The President, who stated this yesterday in his address during the swearing in ceremony of 2016 batch ‘A’ Stream II Corps members, promised to tackle all obstacles militating against the scheme, adding that his administration is investing in Nigerian youth for a better Nigeria.
However, commencement of the orientation has also laid to rest the insinuation that President Buhari was planning to scrap the programme.
Buhari, whose address was to be delivered by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, but eventually delivered by Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Culture, Daniel Dan Auta, urged corps members not to be dampened by challenges currently facing the country because they are surmountable.
“Government is aware of the numerous challenges confronting NYSC such as Corps rejection, infrastructural deficit at the orientation camps, dwindling allocation of resources and so on.
“On the part of this administration, we are determined to make huge investment in youths. That is why this administration is anxious to recover illicit wealth to channel them into enduring economic rehabilitation. Very soon, the glooming situation would be reversed to put smiles on the faces of young people, “ the president assured.
He then urged corps members to embrace the prevailing palliative strategies put in place by public and private institutions.
Earlier, State Coordinator of NYSC, Mohammed Momoh, reminded the gathering that orientation course is a fundamental aspect of NYSC programme designed to prepare corps members for the service year.
He said the 21-day orientation course will afford the corps members to go through leadership training, para-military drills and self defence training as well as language tutorials for effective communication with their host communities where they would be posted after the orientation.
But, in Sokoto state, governor Tambuwal said the state government appreciates the services of corps members and government will continue to make their welfare a top priority.
Tambuwal said the new increase affects all categories of youth corps members, with those serving in medical line getting more funds than others.
“Graduates of medicine will now be paid N50,000 monthly from the current amount of N36,000. Pharmacists will now get N25,000 up from the N19, 000 obtainable in the past, while graduates of lab science and other medical technicians like nurses are now entitled to a monthly stipend of N15, 000, up from the current N9, 000 they were getting from the state government.
“In the same vein, graduates of social science and humanities will now be paid N5,000 monthly, one thousand addition from the previous N4,000 they received as state allawee.
While urging the youth corps members to reciprocate government gesture by being diligent in their areas of primary assignments, Tambuwal urged them to shun vices that will lead to breakdown of law and order and communal harmony.
“I urge you to shun militancy, terrorism and cultism. I also invite you to explore Sokoto and study its rich history, culture and people,” the Governor added.