The Minister of Youths and Social Development, Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, has disclosed that the federal government would restructure the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in order to transform it into a key driver of youth empowerment and economic development.
The minister disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Batch ‘A’ Pre- Mobilisation workshop organised by the NYSC for critical stakeholders in the corps mobilisation process, with the theme: ‘Unlocking Innovative Solutions to the Challenges of the Mobilisation Process’.
Ibrahim said the NYSC needed to be restructured to meet Nigeria’s current economic needs from the youths to develop the economy.
He said: “It is noteworthy that the NYSC scheme ranks among the most endearing platforms that have historically played a significant role in promoting national unity. However, Nigeria’s evolving economic and social landscape now calls for major restructuring to ensure the NYSC effectively meet current and future challenges.
“This restructuring will transform the NYSC into a key driver of youth empowerment and economic development. While successful in fostering unity, the NYSC’s structure is limited in providing corps members with relevant skills and career opportunities.
“There is an urgent need to evolve the NYSC to promote national unity and become a critical platform for skill development addressing the aspirations of the Nigerian youths and the country’s economic needs.”
Meanwhile, the Director-General of NYSC, Brig. Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, in his speech stated that: “The recurring nature of some of the challenges faced in our operation has necessitated the adoption of more enduring strategies, especially the application of digital solutions.”
He stressed that as a management that is committed to repositioning the scheme for greater efficiency, the NYSC shall continue to embrace innovations that will ensure seamless handling of the exercise.
“This informed the choice of the theme of this workshop: ‘Unlocking Innovative Solutions to the Challenges of the Mobilization Process’.
“I would like to remind our key partners that this theme is not just a slogan, but a call to action. It challenges us to think beyond traditional boundaries, view issues from fresh perspectives and adopt more effective problem-solving approaches,” he said.
He assured the public that the NYSC management would continue to sustain the credibility of the mobilisation process, adding: “I would like to assure everyone that we remain unwavering in our determination to block any threat to the credibility of the mobilisation, including attempts by unqualified persons to get enlisted for the national service.”
According to him, the physical verification exercise and several other measures adopted in this regard had gone a long way in exposing fake graduates, especially those claiming to be foreign-trained.
Furthermore, according to the NYSC DG, “Over the years, we have black-listed local and foreign institutions found to be engaged in fraudulent practices, in addition to making formal reports on their activities to regulatory authorities.
“Moreover, in November 2023, we convened a meeting with representatives of tertiary institutions based in some African countries, which was also attended by local stakeholders, including the Federal Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs as well as the National Universities Commission.
“We used that avenue to discuss challenges in the mobilisation of graduates trained in the affected countries as well as unveil fresh guidelines and requirements, including submission of master lists of Nigerian graduates by the invited institutions.”
Ahmed called for the continued support of relevant institutions to curb the menace of fake graduates seeking to be mobilised for the national youth service.
He further explained that: “I consider it most appropriate to use this forum to solicit the continued support of relevant ministries, agencies and other stakeholders in our unrelenting efforts to block fake graduates from mobilisation.
“As we all know, these elements pose serious threats to the socio-economic wellbeing of the country, especially when allowed to penetrate the workforce of sensitive sectors such as health and education.
“The mobilisation process is a key routine, which serves as the gateway for enlistment of eligible graduates for national service. As a scheme that is committed to excellence, we have established the tradition of using this forum of key stakeholders for continuous evaluation of our progress.
“The essence is to explore and adopt best practices as well as proffer solutions to identified problems.”