How To Restructure NYSC For Economic Development
A few months ago i was discussing a few friends (my fellow corpers) about the National service that we just began. We talked about the debate to scrap or not to scrap the scheme, the factors that will constrain its scrapping.
After that discussion, in truth was discouraged. I have i come to waste the next few months of my life, all for preserving 'our national unity'. I was deeply worried.
Personally, i don't think NYSC should be scrapped. It provides an excellent model for economic development and mass youth trainings. It should definitely be restructured.
I have been able to find some productive activities to engage in since but yesterday the thought came to me. How can NYSC be restructured to achieve our national growth and development objectives?.
So here is what i was able to come up with.
Since 1973 graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps program for one year.
The National Youth Service scheme was established in an attempt by Gowon to rebuild the Country, as an offshoot of what is known as the 3R’s- Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation.
It was in pursuance of the 3R’s that Gowon in 1973 under Decree no. 24, established the National Youth Service (NYSC) Scheme. The Scheme is aimed at encouraging and developing common ties among the Youths, and to promote national Unity.Its unfortunate, that today it has degenerated even from achieving those objectives.
How To make NYSC Great Again
Here are some thoughts on how NYSC can regain its glory anf make meaningful impacts in the life of Nigerian youths, all the while making Nigeria an economic giant :
1. Posting of Corps members : Posting corps members shouldn't be a quasi-random affair as it currently is, it should be strategic it should provide corps members opportunities to apply knowledge from their field of discipline. Corpers form a pre market labour class and should be used tp train them to fit squarely into the needs of the economy. The deployment of an architect to a primary school or an Engineer to teach physics is a total no-no. This is underemployment. And any economy that wishes to grow must curtail it.
2. Entrepreneurship : The step towards the promotion of entrepreneurship in recent times is laudable. But if this initiative is to result in the needed economic growth, then it should be taught to interested corpers; teaching them the basics of entrepreneurship, providing skills as in skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development (SAED) and ensuring that such corpers can easily access funds to start their business.
3. Agricultural Knowledge Transfer : Agriculture graduates should be sent to the rural parts of the country where they can apply their knowledge and serve as agricultural extension workers in farms. This will provide local farmers with cheap specialized labour on modern farming techniques and practices.
I believe that with these strategic placements, Nigerian youths can contribute more to Nigeria's economic development and NYSC can be the vehicle that drive such contribution.