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By Hammed J. Sulaiman

NYSC, ever since its birth to also play its own role in restructuring our ‘fractured nation’, its structure seems to be yawning for restructuring as it also always in the state of destructibility. The destructibility I mean here cannot be farfetched if we can thread the webs of criticisms level on it as a propram, ranging from series of complaints from corps members about their renumeration, the killings of corps members during the program due to political, ethnic and religious violence and or the criticisms that the program is just a time-waster and death-trap scheme as it seen by many that it ported not its objectives to which it was created as this recently call for hot debates whether it should be scrapped or not. But I posit; nothing is needed but restructuring.
The trend of lacunae which made me to refer to our nation as a ‘fractured nation’ could be traced back when she was in her early, deceivable age that made her to ignorantly consented to the “Amalgamation Pact” on behalf of herself as though there seems to be non-consultaltions of her very self. 1914 is remember as the year she came to full, formal existence of her present shape, ‘fiam!’ there came then, political, economic, ethnic, cultural, and religious conflict which resulted to the civil war drama. After the drama, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was created as an avenue on 22nd of May, 1973 by General Yakubu Gowon in an effort and as an attempt on the reconciliation, reconstruction, and rebuilding our ‘fractured nation’ where Nigerian graduates, varsities and polytechnics involve in nation building. The graudates are posted to states other than their state of origin where they are expected to mingle with people from different ethnic groups, social and family backgrounds, and learn the culture of the indigenes in the location they are posted to. This action is aimed at bringing about unity in the country and help the youths appreciate other ethnic groups. It was established based on Decree No. 24 that stated that the scheme was created “with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity” as though, nothing was need then but restructuring.
But can we as of today, presently, apart from it effect on unity, say it’s contributing in accelerating growth to the national economy? This is but a pregnant question and an answer to it that can be born will be K-Legged. Why? Because the economy is still spinning in recession despite its birth and it seems it has failed to cob the recession. Albeit, there are rooms for opportunity when corps members under the colour of ‘serving the father’s land’, wander for one year but all in all it could be said to be fractious considering employment opportunities in Today-Nigeria where jobs are as scarce as blue roses. No wonder Corps members ‘allawee’ is seen as thrift-like monies. If truly NYSC wants to be productive to Nigerian economy and make Young Nigerians to be self-reliant, then I posit, that the rumors that went viral recently about the increment of corps members allowance from N19,8000 to N48,9000 should be made a reality as nothing is truly needed but restructuring.
Or if restructuring is not needed, of what then will be of our ‘fractured nation’? Though one of the objectives of NYSC as earlier mention is to enable Nigerian youths in contributing to the accelerated growth of the national economy but today, reverse seems to be the case. Why? The answer could not be farfetched. This is because when youths have truly answer the clarion call to serve their father land selflessly, in the rain and or under the sun, the posting policy and the future of the corps members after the service are the next caskets of problems of NYSC which is still fueling our fidgeting economy! But still, nothing is needed but restructuring.
Though the aim of NYSC was never intended to secure job but to serve father land selflessly as required by law but considering the status of our ‘fractured nation, the fidgeting economy, and the numbers of graduates that is speedily increasing on yearly basis, which is paving way for the unemployment problem, suggestion can lucidly be made that NYSC suppose to be paying money-like gratitude after the one year-service to each corps members, which will make them to be financially viable and make them to venture to whatever legal business they want and by that, I think the primary problem of our ‘fractured nation’ which is unemployment will reduce drastically, as nothing is needed but restructuring.
Or can we say N19,8000 ‘allawee’ given to corps members monthly can be a said to be able to cob unemployment problem? No, taking into consideration the expenses to be incurred by each corps members in their PPA (Place of Primary Assignment). The feeding, the housing, the transportation during the service, though whatever the circumstance might be, it is a question of fact but the leftover of the remaining allawee of each corps members after one-year service is a question begging for answer. I hope something need to be done if truly NYSC wants to be productive to Today-Nigerian economy, for nothing is needed but restructuring.
Also, another problem is that most corps members are found in secondary schools teaching where they were usually used and taken advantage of but there are some areas, places where for corps members can contribute immensely, and resource our ‘fractured nation’ economically. The relaunch of Rural and Agricultural projects where corps members can be allowed to generate funds to our ‘fractured nation’. There are many areas where service is needed, not where corps members can be seen, used as cheap peripherals as service to the nation should be in areas where we lack, where corps members can grasp permanent employment, for nothing is just needed but restructuring.
I do hope that this my article will be a solution-based if NYSC Officials and stalwarts can look into NYSC exemptions and conditions on how NYSC can be productive to Today-Nigerian economy and liase with the appropriate authorities based on especially, age limitation, graduates of home and foreign institutions, ‘all’ Nigerian graduates of higher institutions (Varsities, Polytechnics, Colleges Of Education, Schools of Health and likes), redeployments and transfers, increment of ‘allawee’, and likes, for nothing, nothing is just needed but restructuring.

Hammed J. Sulaiman
A Poet, Essayist, Writer and a 400 level student of law from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
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