In a new policy thrust, the federal government said today that National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) postings will now be in the sectors of Rural Health, Primary and Secondary Education; Rural Infrastructural Development; and Agricultural Development.
The information is contained in a circular by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to top government functionaries in the three arms, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments and Statutory Agencies, said a statement from the office of the Minister of Information signed by Henry A. Angulu.
He said the objective is to restore national integration and youth empowerment as the core objectives of the NYSC Scheme, a policy which has been distorted and abused, thus defeating the purpose of facilitating national integration and economic transformation as well as the development of participating corps members.
“The new policy is set to discourage highly placed government officials and influential members of the society from seeking for concessionary posting for prospective corps members specifically to metropolitan cities like Abuja, Lagos and others, contrary to the spirit of the NYSC Scheme,” the statement said.
It noted that the resulting inequitable posting has led to disproportionate distribution of corps members “leading to management dysfunction such as over-crowding at NYSC Camps in high demand States, under utilization and rejection of corps members.”
The statement reiterated that the categories of corps members eligible for concessionary postings as stipulated in the NYSC Act are married women; corps members with peculiar health related issues; and corps members with physical disabilities.
While the statement warned that requests for concessionary postings and lobbying for preferred place of primary assignment from any quarter “shall henceforth not be entertained by the NYSC Headquarters,” it was silent on protection or insurance for serving corps members, some of whom were killed in the political violence in the North which followed the April 2011 presidential election.
Up until today, the federal government has not stated exactly how many corps members were killed, or identified them.
Since that event, many parents have expressed worry about allowing their children to serve in violence-prone parts of Northern Nigeria. The new policy does not clarify how limiting corps members only to specific service sectors provides security wherever they are posted.