Corps Members have been advised to explore every available opportunity within the service year to develop their potentials and become role models, worthy of emulation.
NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim gave this advice in a nationwide address, delivered virtually to the 2021 Batch ‘B’ Stream One Corps Members and Camp Officials.
He said all the four cardinal programmes of the Scheme namely; Orientation Course, Primary Assignment, Community Development Service and Winding-up/Passing-Out are loaded with different activities to groom Corps Members to be patriotic, self-reliant, independent and selfless towards attaining leadership positions.
Ibrahim urged them to utilize their stay in the Orientation Camps to create long-lasting relationships and foster national unity and integration which is the hallmark of the National Youth Service Corps.
“Many ex-Corps Members have excelled during the service year and they always tell their stories as Corps Members. Therefore, you too must also take advantage of the NYSC as a platform to excel in life. It is incumbent on you to be patriotic, committed, drive your vision with passion and put in your best in the service of our country. You must add value to the service year so that by the time you leave as ex-Corps Members, you will have good stories to tell,” the DG said.
Ibrahim warned the Corps Members not to embark on unauthorized journeys, adding that they must get approval from the NYSC if it becomes necessary for them to travel.
“I want to warn that your place of Primary Assignment cannot permit you to travel. If you are going to travel within the country, it is only the State Coordinator through the normal channel that can permit you to travel, if you apply and it’s not granted, please don’t go anywhere, and if you are going to travel outside the country, it is only the Director-General that can permit you to travel.
Your Employer does not have the right to grant you permission to travel. Study the NYSC Act and NYSC Byelaws so that you don’t run foul of the law.” he said. The Director-General urged them to read through the pledge and Oath of Allegiance that was administered on them to be of good conduct and committed to the ideals of the founding fathers of the NYSC. Let the spirit of NYSC live in you, even till after the service year.”
Speaking further, Ibrahim admonished the Corps Members against boarding vehicles by the roadside but counselled them to use designated motor parks and added; “You must be security conscious and you must not endanger your safety, because your parents have invested in you and they want returns on their investments.”
He warned against the misuse of social media, adding that it is a platform that must be used to promote national unity and integration. “Don’t promote fake news, use social media to promote national unity because in diversity there is strength. Let the spirit of NYSC live in you, as NYSC was established to promote national unity.”
General Ibrahim also admonished the Corps Members to obey the rules and regulations in their place of primary assignments, cautioning that Scheme would not condone any act of misconduct, but would strictly apply sanctions on any erring Corps Member found to have run foul of the law.
He said, “Be obedient to every constituted authority and be law-abiding. Shun cyber-crimes, avoid drugs, cherish your integrity, avoid cutting corners, be diligent, be disciplined, be good ambassadors of your families, institutions and the NYSC. Be proud of the NYSC uniform and follow our dress code.”
The Director-General added that all services in NYSC are free, and warned that any Corps Member caught trying to influence posting or relocation, either with a fake medical report, financial inducement or any other means would be sanctioned.
He advised them to initiate laudable and long-lasting personal or group Community Development Service projects that would improve the standard of living of their host communities but added that approval must be obtained from the NYSC before embarking on such a project.
The DG also warned that no Corps Member is permitted to execute the project with his money, but funds must be sourced from within the community where such project is domiciled. “For you to win NYSC President’s Honours Award there are procedures, once you relocate from one state to another, once you change your place of primary assignment you are no more qualified. Also, your assessment starts from the Orientation Exercise because for you to win the National Honours Award, you must perform excellently in all the four cardinal programmes of the NYSC”, Ibrahim said.
He added that the introduction of Corps Camp Director is an innovation that was introduced to expose Corps Members to leadership roles and groom them for leadership responsibilities. General Ibrahim urged the Corps Members to avail themselves of the opportunities presented by NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme, designed to empower them with vocational skills towards self-employment.
He said NYSC introduced the programme in 2012 in order to reduce the increasing rate of unemployment among ex-Corps Members, adding that the SAED programme has empowered so many ex-Corps Members who are now employers of labour in different states across the country.
He urged the Corps Members to key into the in-camp training that would expose them to the basics of the vocations, and also continue with the post-camp training after the end of the Orientation programme.
“White-collar jobs are not readily available anywhere, and let no one discourage you because skill acquisition is very critical nowadays. There is a reward in hard work. Drive your vision with passion and I can assure you the sky will be your limit.”
“We have stakeholders like the Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank, Unity Bank, NYSC Foundation, among others willing to assist with soft loans for Corps Members to start their businesses.”
The Director-General harped on the proposed National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund that would make start-up capital available to all Corps Members with skills to establish their vocational businesses as they exit service stating, “We are going to establish a very strong monitoring unit within the NYSC that is going to interface with you as you engage in your businesses in the field and with this interface, the relationship with the NYSC will be there forever.”
The NYSC boss appealed to them to be more conscious of COVID-19 and obey every necessary safety protocol to be safe. He urged all Corps Members and other camp participants to present themselves for COVID-19 vaccines any moment it is available in camp. “Please get yourselves vaccinated to protect yourself and also protect others. Ignore all social media rumour against COVID-19 vaccine and I want to advise that it is safe and there is no harm in it.
“The NYSC loves you, likewise the Federal Government. Please, adhere strictly to the codes and ethics of the NYSC. Avoid night travel and late-night movements and don’t make yourself victims of criminals. Wherever you are, always look out for exit strategy in order to avoid a stampede,” the Director-General advised.