Suspending NYSC Orientation Camp Portends a Grave Danger – NYSC Foundation

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Foundation has said suspending NYSC Orientation Camp portends a ‘grave danger’.

There is a growing concern that not less than 60,000 Nigerian graduates may miss the Orientation Camp if the decision by Osinbajo led government committee is approved.

Recall that the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, suggested that the Federal Govt should suspend NYSC orientation camps for a period of two years due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

The report was compiled by a team of ministers – Finance, Budget & National Planning, Industry Trade & Investment, State, Budget and National Planning, Labour and Employment, State, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Petroleum Resources, Group Managing Director, NNPC and permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office is aimed at proffering solutions in different sectors of the country’s economy post-COVID-19.

It was gathered that about 66,000 candidates who are due to be mobilized for 2020 Batch ‘A’ Stream 2 will be affected if the policy is implemented.

However, the NYSC Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has urged the Federal Government (FG) to have a rethink before it approves a proposal to suspend the Orientation programme of the scheme for 2 years.

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The Foundation’s Secretary, Mr. Ventim Bako, said that such action is fraught with ‘grave danger’, which can affect the capacity of corps members at their various Places of Primary Assignments (PPA).

The NYSC Foundation provides information, organizes programmes and executes projects for the NYSC Scheme. It also promotes the welfare of corps members, supports the activities of NYSC in various Orientation camps, provides soft loans to corps members to boost their infant business ventures, and also expose them to better job opportunities.

Bako maintained that the VP and members of the ESC must have offered the suggestion with the best of intention, which is to protect lives and also to contain COVID-19.

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Below are his words;

“Within the context of the statutory mandate of NYSC and the activities that normally precede the deployment of corps members, we appeal to government to have a rethink about the proposal.

“This is simply because you cannot bring out fresh graduates from universities and polytechnics and just unleash them on the society for primary assignments.

“To deploy corps members to various places of PPAs without basic tools and the requisite training in an orientation exercise, is going to be a great disservice to the capacity of the corps members.

“This will certainly affect their capacity to deliver and perform efficiently,” the NYSC Foundation boss noted.

He added tthat the NYSC Director General, Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Shuaibu, has recently put in place a structure that encourages Corps members in providing supports services in managing COVID-19.

“We have seen the contribution of corpers in managing the coronavirus through fabrication of tools, production of face-mask and sanitizers while medical Corps members are actively engaged in hospital and medical facilities treating patients after their orientation training in the camps.

“There is no way the management of the Scheme will now allow its own Corps members to become vulnerable to the pandemic or to the society”.

Meanwhile, NYSC had last week submitted a proposal and guideline on requirement for reopening the camps nationwide once the government gave the directive.

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The proposal which was submitted to the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu in Abuja was part of the scheme’s preparedness for post-COVID-19 operations.

The proposal provides guidance and plan to create more Orientation Camps in the 36 States, while also staggering the Batches and Streams of camping activities.

The suspended 2020 Batch ‘A’ Stream 1 Orientation course would be completed when the scheme received the green light from the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19.

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  1. We are not say anything about this issue of vps for orientation cam this is not what vp supposed to say about it but we need Mr President to look about it and to understand what the graduate corps member be

  2. The DG NYSC
    Yakubu Gowon House
    Abuja.
    12 June 2020

    WHY IT IS NOT FEASIBLE TO GO BACK TO CAMP YET. NYSC SHOULDN’T FORCE NOR RUSH CORPS MEMBERS BACK TO CAMP.

    Dear Amiable DG,

    I have heard in the news as DG NYSC met with the DG NCDC so they can profer solution to how corps members will be able to go back to camp and modalities to observe post pandemic after the inter-state lockdown.

    I understand that NYSC has the interest of Corp members at heart and they are doing their possible best to see how corps members will stay safe while also finding a way for them to complete their 1 year mandatory National service.

    But the truth is that looking at the nature of this pandemic and worrisome daily increase of the carriers, we can’t comfortably be planning on reopening camps. May I bring it to our consciousness that same camps have been used as an isolation centers. Some corps members will be allergic to going back there knowing what it has been used for. It will create some level of allergy and psychological stress for some of them.

    Looking at the measures NYSC is proposing to NCDC to adopt, it begs of me to ask these questions.

    I hope those measures will include, having about 3 or 4 persons in a room in a hostel?, since our hostels are overcrowded to about 14 persons per room or more. Having to stop parade since there will be maximum contact and there won’t be social distancing of sort?. Having to come to hostels to serve us food rather than the usual being on queue to receive our food?. Having to stop church services on Sundays or mosque prayers since it will go against social distancing?. Having to stop SAED lectures since there will be maximum human contact and no social distancing?.

    You see dear corps members, going back to camp without this pandemic finally dying down is not feasible. I don’t see any workable strategy or whatsover. Stay wherever you are and stay safe. We are all serving Nigeria likewise our Senators and Reps, same with the armed forces and Executives and Judiciary. We all are serving same Nigeria, so we shouldn’t be treated as if we are less important. We can’t be used as sacrificial lamb. If there is any parent or ward that will allow their wards to go back to camps that have been used as isolation centers without properly making sure we have defeated the pandemic, mine cannot be in support of that. If NYSC tries to force us back, we would reject it with all sense of dignity and humility. And we will protest if need be. They can’t be at their respective homes and offices observing social distancing and staying safe, while we go out there and expose ourselves. It is health and life we are talking about here.

    Signed;
    National Secretary
    Union of Covid-19 Corps Members (UCCM)

    National Body for the Health and Welfare of Corps Members
    Abuja.

  3. Well, base on the vp’s recommendations it is important to note that the country’s economy is getting low to the extent that the government will no longer afford to settle the bill for NYSC scheme which requires its two years extension in order to maintain the economic status of the country. Couple with current global pandemic (covid-19), the report emanating from NCDC is always increasing. We hope/urge that those who are in position of the authority should pls come up with the best solutions and consider the situation of these people with bright future (corps members). Thanks.

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