Richard Ginika Izuora
Prospective Corps Members (PCMs) have been enjoined to add value to themselves, their places of primary assignment, including their host communities during their service year.
NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, who stated this in his nationwide virtual address to the 2021 Batch ‘B’ Stream Two PCMs and Camp Officials, advised them to study their host communities after the completion of their Orientation Course and initiate laudable projects that would improve their standard of living.
The Director-General however warned that they must not execute projects with personal funds, but source for funds from members of their host communities.
He urged them to obtain approval from the NYSC State Coordinator before embarking on any project.
“Look round your host communities to identify their challenges and add value. Don’t pass through NYSC without adding value to it.
Don’t pass through the community where you are going to serve without adding value to it. Choose projects that the community will appreciate”, he said.
Ibrahim stated further that a prospective recipient of the NYSC National Honours Award must have excelled in all the four cardinal programmes of the Scheme namely; Orientation Course, Primary Assignment, Community Development Service, Winding-Up/Passing-Out, and also won the State Hounours Award.
Speaking further, he said Members of the National Selection Board are eminent personalities drawn from different Federal Government agencies.
“Winning of National Honours Award means that you must perform excellently in all the Four Cardinal Programmes of the NYSC starting from the Orientation Camp.
Once you relocate from one state to another, or you lobby for a change of posting or engage in induced rejection, you are disqualified”, he said.
General lbrahim added that all Corps Members are expected to be patriotic and ready to serve wherever they are deployed to, without expecting anything in return.
Quoting from General Yakubu Gowon’s inaugural address at the inception of the NYSC in 1973, the Director-General said, “NYSC was established so that the youths will put in their best in the service of their country without asking anything in return”.
He adminished the Prospective Corps Members to use the opportunity of the Orientation Course to imbibe teamwork, leadership training, and also establish friendship that will outlive the service year.
“I want to urge you to know that the Orientation Course is very germane to the operations of the NYSC, because it is the first point of contact between Corps Members of all diverse groups from different states of the Federation.
The objective of the NYSC Scheme is to promote national unity and integration; and NYSC is a platform for those that are serious, and an opportunity to advance and achieve your set objectives in life”, the DG added.
General lbrahim urged the Prospective Corps Members to adhere strictly to all the safety protocols of COVID-19 as provided in their Orientation Camps.
He also advised them to emulate their predecessors who contributed selflessly to combating COVID-19 at its outbreak, by providing hand sanitizers, face masks, disinfectant soaps among other things.
He urged them to continue to sensitize Nigerians on the dangers of COVID-19.
“I want to warn you that COVID-19 is still around. I want to advise that you get vaccinated in order to protect yourself and also protect others.
Don’t be deceived with the misinformation on COVID-19”, he advised.
Ibrahim disclosed that all camp participants were tested for COVID-19 and it was only those that tested negative for the disease that were allowed into the Orientation Camps, adding that tbose that tested positive were handed over to NCDC and State Health Officials for treatment.
“I want to urge you to put in your best in service as a way of reciprocating Federal Government’s gesture” he said.
The Director-General enjoined the Prospective Corps Members to key into the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme (SAED) of the Scheme as it would enable them become employers of labour in the long run.
He urged them to learn a skill in camp and continue with the post-camp training after their Orientation.
He said the Scheme had partnered the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, Access Bank, Unity Bank, NYSC Foundation, among others to provide soft loans to Corps Members to start their business vocations.
He added that efforts are on-going for the establishment of National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSCTF) that would give Corps Members more access to funds to finance their vocations and also enhance the operations of the Skill Acquisition programme of the Scheme.
“You must respect the dignity of labour and do not allow anyone to discourage you. Salaried jobs are no more easily available.
Avoid cutting corners, cherish your integrity with passion and once you are hardworking, you will excel. Shun cybercrimes, avoid drugs and don’t get involved in nefarious activities”, he said.
The Director-General warned the PCMs against nagative use of the Social Media. He admonished them to use it to “promote National unity and integration and not to spread fake news”.
Ibrahim also warned against embarking on authorised journeys, he advised them to obtain approval from the NYSC before travelling, adding that if such application is not approved they should not travel.
The Director-General advised the PCMs to be security conscious and avoid boarding vehicles by the roadside, rather, go to designated motorparks for such.
He said the Scheme had partnered the Federal Road Safety Corps and transport unions to ensure that only roadworthy vehicles and professional drivers are allowed to convey Corps Members.
General lbrahim also advised that they should avoid night journeys and break their journey once it is six in the evening and “pass the night in a military barracks, Corps Lodge or NYSC Secretariats”.
He informed the PCMs that there is nothing in NYSC like “two weeks break after leaving camp”, as he urged them to settle down in their respective Place of Primary Assignments after the Orientation Course.
NYSC Borno State Corps Camp Director, Abraham Oladipupo BO/21B/1126 gave the vote of thanks on behalf of his colleagues nationwide, thanking the Director-General for his fatherly advise.
He promised their commitment to the ideals of the Scheme as good ambassadors.
“We promised to abide by all the instructions and adhere strictly to all rules and regulations”, he said.