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Crawford University Vice-chancellor wants NYSC to remain

Prof. Olurotimi Ajayi, the Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University,
Igbesa, Ogun, on Wednesday said that the compulsory National Youth
Service Corps (NYSC) scheme should not be scrapped.

Ajayi told journalists in Lagos that the NYSC scheme was a national heritage and a symbol of Nigeria’s unity.

He spoke against the backdrop of the clamour by some people that the scheme should be scrapped.

The scheme was established in 1973 by then Head of State, Gen. Yakubu
Gowon (retd), in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the
country after the Nigerian Civil war.

The scheme, set up by decree No. 24 of May 22, 1973, seeks the
development of common ties among Nigerian youths and the promotion of
national unity.

Ajayi said that the NYSC scheme should be protected and
preserved since its objective was the promotion of national unity among
Nigerians, which it was fulfilling.

“The NYSC scheme is fulfilling its mandate and nothing should hamper its operations; if anything, it must be guarded jealously.

“The scheme was set up to achieve a target of fostering unity among
the ethnic tribes in Nigeria, which it has been performing to a large
extent.

“I will not in any way support its scrapping because aside from that
of unity, it also helps the youths to visit other parts of the country.

“Ordinarily, some of the youths wouldn’t have had the opportunity to
travel to those places, save the scheme. But more importantly, it
enables youths from across the country the opportunity to interact,’’ he
said.

The vice-chancellor said rather than abolish the scheme, the government could look at its challenges in order to put it right.

“Rather than scrap the scheme, the government should look at the
challenges facing the scheme such as insecurity, poor incentives and
welfare of the corps members.

“Government can also try to look into restructuring the scheme for
better efficiency and coordination; it can be made a skill acquisition
centre for youths.

“Corps members that are not comfortable with some parts of the
country due to security reasons should not be forced to go there because
the safety of the corps members comes first.

“The corps members’ allowances should also be reviewed to reflect present realities,’’ he said.

On the University’s forthcoming convocation slated for Dec. 14, Ajayi
said that the number of first class graduates produced by the
institution had increased by nine.

He said that this was a reflection of the quality of teaching and supervision by the university.

“There was an increase in the number of first class produced by the
university and this is due to the increase in the number of students
that are desirous of academic excellence.

“The university is also not resting on its oars to ensure that its
products can compete favorably with their counterparts from other
universities.

“We are not only seeking to promote academic excellence, but also to
produce graduates with the fear of God; I mean youths that will not
engage in corruption.

“Our country is in dire need of responsible youths; youths that will eschew corrupt practices,’’ the vice-chancellor said.

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