The Lagos State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr. Eddy Megwa, said that the essence of the scheme has not depleted, and neither has it lost its focus and essence.
This was as he noted that apart from fostering the unity among corps members, who are now inter-marrying and learning other people’s culture, the compulsory oneyear scheme had also integrated various skills acquisition programmes that would make corps members self-sustaining and self-reliant after the service, rather than looking for the non-existent jobs.
Megwa, who reiterated that NYSC was instituted by an Act that would be difficult to change without the right legislation, however, pointed that at this period of high unemployment rate in the country, corps members were being up-skilled and trained to work together as a team to uphold the nation’s unity in diversity.
He disclosed this at the NRC Building, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Council Secretariat, Obawole Road, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos, during the passing-out/certificate distribution to a total of 4,875 corps members deployed to Lagos State for the 2019 ‘Batch B’ Stream 2 service year.
The passing-out/certificate distribution, which began last Thursday and ends today (Tuesday) across all the Local Government Areas of the state, according to him, held in a low key deferred the fanfare that usually characterised the end of service due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While saying that the certificate presentation was being carried out at the various centres to ensure less gathering of corps members at a time, the Coordinator noted that of the total corps members passing out in the Stream Two, 53 of them are facing one disciplinary action for various offences.
Out of the figure, Megwa, however, said that 10 corps members would repeat the programme for absconded from service, while 22 corps members will have their service extended by one to four months, while the cases of 21 others were being attended to pending the outcome of the decision of the management of NYSC.
“From today (Thursday) to next week Tuesday, the corps members will collect their NYSC Certificates, which we are going to distribute to them across all the local government areas of Lagos State.
This is being done because of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country and other nations of the world,” Megwa stated.
The Coordinator, who noted that there was no State Merit Award winner in this Stream, said a total of 15 corps members would receive Certificate of Commendation for their exemplary performance in the service year.
“Though, we have three corps members of 2019 ‘Batch B’ STREAM 1 in the state, who were recipients of the Lagos State Merit Award, there is none in STREAM 2, because none of them met the NYSC standard and criteria for the award this time.
The NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, decided to hold this year’s ceremony in a very low key due to the ravaging Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak in the country,” he added.
Megwa urged the corps members to observe all protocols and precautionary measures including washing of hands regularly with soap in running water, use of alcohol-based sanitisers, as well as maintaining social distancing directed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health professionals in order to stay safe.
One of the corps members and a nursing mother from Imo State, Ugowike Francis, who served at Ifako-Ijaiye Primary Health Centre, describe the one-year NYSC scheme as interesting, exciting and rewarding, saying she was able to learn several other things outside her field of studies.
Meanwhile, she added that the COVID-19 really affected the service year, especially their CDS and going for work, as well as the passing-out parade they had always looked into with excitement.