The solution to the security is simple: do not post anyone to potential flashpoints. In these parts, the ignorant (educated and uneducated) abound. These “ignorant” possess the violent passion to match their idiocy and have caused and can cause untold pain to innocent souls. It could even be ingenious to post the indigenes of these areas back there only until they learn how to be accommodating.
If Bauchi state cannot guarantee the safety of corps members posted there, then no corps member that hails from Bauchi should be allowed to serve outside Bauchi, no matter where they have schooled. It doesn’t make any sense that you are posted to a part of the country and you remain unharmed but back in your own home state, other people that wear the same uniform as you are endangered. Call it vindictive but people have to begin to take responsibility.
The problem of corruption among NYSC officials is not very surprising. For civil servants and political office holders in Nigeria, corruption is the norm, rather than the exception. Many NYSC officials are out to make a quick dishonest buck. Many prospective corps members and corps members are out to take a dishonest shortcut. Demand meets supply.
Let it be noted that some of these corps members as students have at one point or the other paid for a favour as regards scores. That is the culture they know and they keep at it. To be candid, the problem of corruption in the NYSC cannot be solved whilst the greater Nigerian society remains morally bankrupt. Hence, this is one problem I cannot in all honesty attempt to provide a panacea for. I would have to suspend my heads in the cloud before I can offer such solutions because frankly, you and I know they won’t work. Not in today’s Nigeria.
There are very few, if any, analyses of the youth service scheme that have called out the corps members themselves. The focus is always on the failure of government and of policy direction. For me, a substantial part of the blame is to be placed at the corps member’s feet. I have stated above the role of “demand-and-supply” in the many shenanigans that pervade the scheme. My friend didn’t believe that teaching was useful experience as per future employment.
This may be true but the objective of the NYSC is not to serve as a vehicle for future employment. The youth service scheme is about service; service to a nation badly in need of service. My friend said Nigeria doesn’t deserve service. I ask; who is Nigeria – its many shameless leaders or the people? Community Development Service, one of the four cardinal programmes in the service year is anything but community service for most corps members.
The most irritating projects get commissioned and completed by corps members. Of what use is a big signboard declaring all sorts of messages when the groundwork needed to pass those messages hasn’t been done? One use I can think of immediately is that, because these signboards also carry the names of their commissioners, they are designed to immortalize people who haven’t even done enough to deserve being mortal.
When Nigerians understand the notion of service, several spheres of national life, including the NYSC, will get better and better. This is why I wholeheartedly agree with the recent policy thrust of the NYSC as regards places of primary assignment. The last recommendation Toyosi, my friend, gave was that the NYSC be made voluntary.
N25000 allowee per month (as an incentive)
N4,162,500,000 per month
N24,975,000,000 per year
I’ll be the first to admit that this suggestion is intriguing. Like she said, it could reduce the cost incurred on running the NYSC. There are certainly people who feel the youth service scheme cramps their style, to use street lingo, as they could put that period to better use.
I’m not exactly sure how to counter this suggestion, but I would point back to the notion of service again. It could be argued that serving Nigeria is a thankless job, but at this level – the NYSC, the argument cannot hold much water. Technology is the note on which I’ll end this discourse. The NYSC perpetuates itself in the Stone Age by refusing to embrace technology.
Of course, these problems present NYSC officials with avenues to extort corps members, which is why they, the problems, still exist. The irony is that technology is the lasting analgesic to the headache officials have to experience to keep the system ticking over nicely.
I do not know what stories you may have heard. I do know that there is a great possibility that the story you have heard may have been embellished to strike the fear of God in you. I’ve heard NYSC and terms such as “fun” and “interesting” being used in the same sentence. Heck, I had fun while my service year lasted. Ceteris paribus, you’re due some fun in the sun when yours comes around, for those who haven’t had the pleasure of youth service yet.
On a final note, I’d like to remember all those who lost their lives whilst in service to their nation because of a few people’s crass disregard for the sanctity of human life. May your souls rest in peace and may Nature do as it sees fit to those perpetrators of crimes against humanity.
Written By | Kayode Faniyi