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Friday, May 12, 2017

Life after Youth Service - NYSC

Written by: Omeanu Nnenna A


It is the dream of almost every graduate to serve his father’s land after graduation. It presents an opportunity for most young graduates to travel to another part of the country, meet new people and learn a new culture.

For some, NYSC will present their first like experience in the sense that it will be the first time most of them will offer their services for money, whether the money is commiserating with the amount of time and services rendered is another question entirely. I guess that is how the term “allowee” came to be.

It has been noticed that some Youth corpers get scared of life whenever the end of the one-year youth service programme comes to an end because no more money to frequent their accounts as usual.

As a graduate, I wonder most times what happened to the tens of thousands who go through this scheme every year after the famous Passing Out Parade (POP)? Is there a job waiting? So these young people go back home and start depending on their parents again, for basically everything after they have sponsored them through school?

These questions are apt and should be used by right thinking corps member. This is more so in a country where joblessness is becoming a way of life. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 27.1 million citizens are unemployed, the NBS noted that 782,886 active people entered the labour force, but the economy generated only 187,226 jobs.
2016 was a challenging year with companies and manufacturing companies shutting down operations and relocation to more friendly environments while some in an effort to remain in business, had to let go of some workers.

The NYSC is one scheme the government can use to tackle unemployment among the youths if the scheme is properly harnessed. No doubt youths are affected the most when it comes to employment. The NBS 2016 second quarter report shows there are 17.6 million unemployed/underemployed youths.

Socially, this is dangerous.

To fight unemployment, the three tiers of government need to roll out new policies that will spur growth. The NYSC scheme though has some elements of entrepreneurship training, these should be strengthened beyond the SAED programme in orientation camps. During SAED training, corps members are taught various skills from agriculture to manufacturing on a small scale level.

If the management of NYSC or even the government can go a step further, that will definitely have a great positive impact on the unemployment situation in the country by a step further, I mean beyond inculcation of these skills in corps members, and the NYSC management or government should as a matter of urgency equip these corps members, empower them with the needed tools and take off capital to set up their own businesses and practice what they have learnt during the orientation course.

A clue should be taken from the now rested YOUWIN programme. Imagine the number of entrepreneurs and jobs that will be created if this is done.
Another thing the government should get right is the power sector. There is a relationship between power, economic growth and job creation. Energy use is either the cause or the facilitator of economic growth and that inadequate electricity provision is a binding constrain to growth and job creation.

Apart from power, other infrastructures should receive desired attention as well. Infrastructures like efficiency railway network, good road network and others.

I believe when all this is done, corps members will no longer have nightmares about life after service and the country will be better off.

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