By Salau Olumoye
A group of young undergraduates yesterday expressed their misgivings about the recommendation made by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) to the effect that NYSC orientation camp be suspended for 2 years.
The young people who voiced out their anger at the recommendation said it’s heartbreaking that the youth are always at the receiving end of every unfavorable government policies; wondering why those in government were not prepared to make sacrifices if truly scarce resources necessitated the planned move.
One of the young people who identified himself as Bala Silas said, “The NYSC said orientation camp is one of the cardinal programs of the national service year. But now they want to cancel orientation camp and make us less of a corper. Inconsistency is the reason everything fails in Nigeria.”
Sherifat Bola-Jinadu said the orientation course has helped many people she knows to acquire lifelong skills, considering that the schools only taught theories.
“I’m a graduate who is waiting to go for service. I’m full of hope that I might get lucky like some of friends who said they participated in the SAED on camp and subsequently became gainfully employed as a result of it. But now the Nigerian government wants to deny me that opportunity; isn’t it quite unfortunate.”
On his own part, Dennis Agbaju believes nothing is left of NYSC the moment orientation course is removed. “So if we no go camp, wetin come be the essence of the service. Remove orientation camp and NYSC becomes empty,” Agbaju said.
Olusola Adelaja on his part said he understands the rationale for the proposal, which he said was because government is pressed for money. He however said the federal government would do well to stop looking for easy way out and instead gets more creative in their search for solutions to the envisaged post-covid19 challenges.
“Our government is always looking for a convenient way out. They have so many government appointees with fat salaries, but they won’t take salary cut. Each time it’s the youth that suffer, now they have turned on the youth service scheme. Why should we always be the scapegoat for the greed of the politicians”, Adelaja queried.
Meanwhile, the recommendations to put the NYSC camp on hold for 2 years and instead post corps members directly to places of primary assignment is still a proposal at this stage. It’s not yet clear if President Muhammadu Buhari would sign off on the proposal which is already agitating many expectant young people looking forward to the experience of the service year.