The Minister of State for Youth Development, Ayodele Olawande, has revealed that the federal government and his ministry are working on a new framework for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
The minister said that the aim of the restructuring is to address the current challenges and realities faced by the corps members and the nation.
The minister made this disclosure during his visit to the Niger state NYSC orientation camp in Paikoro local government area, where he interacted with the corps members and the camp officials.
He said that the existing scope of NYSC did not adequately cater for the welfare and prospects of the corps members after their service year.
He said: “We are going to work with the Governor, the Federal Government, and the Ministry of Youth Development to ensure that we redesign the scope of NYSC. We need to change the narrative now that we have a listening President.
“We need to address the question of what next after the camp? So now, it is time to talk and act.”
He urged the youths to be creative and proactive, and to take advantage of the skills acquisition programmes offered by the NYSC scheme. He said that the skills would help them to be self-reliant and productive after their service year.
“As youths, this is our time to think, the President has given us the platform, it is now left for us to use the platform.
“Youths should take part and change the narrative, as corps members, you should take the skills acquisition programmes training seriously to acquire skills that will improve your lives.”
He assured the corps members that the federal government was committed to creating opportunities for youth engagement across the country. He also commended the NYSC management for their efforts in ensuring the smooth running of the scheme.
The Niger state NYSC coordinator, Mrs Abdulwahab Olayinka, appreciated the minister for his visit and highlighted some of the challenges facing the camp. She said that the camp lacked adequate hostel accommodation, toilet and bathroom facilities, and perimeter fence.
She also said that the camp was threatened by erosion and running water. She said that there were 1,912 corps members registered in the camp, comprising those deployed to Niger and those dislodged from FCT.