Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Tuesday said he would not hesitate to sanction recalcitrant corps members according to the NYSC bye laws.
Ibrahim spoke at the swearing-in of the 2021 Batch ‘B’ set of corps members at the FCT Orientation Camp, Kubwa, Abuja.
Represented by Mr Suleiman Abdul, NYSC Coordinator in the FCT, Shuaibu charged corps members to always be guided by the oath of allegiance they had taken.
“You must obey the law at all times; you must always be exemplary,” he declared.
It was reported that the scheme was recently on the spotlight over the arrest of corps members by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
They were said to be involved in drug trafficking.
The director-general urged corps members to be of good conduct throughout the service year and comply with the NYSC rules and regulations.
“It is our ardent hope that you will keep up your good conduct throughout the exercise. You must comply strictly with all camp rules and regulations, and be obedient to your course officials.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we shall apply appropriate sanctions on recalcitrant corps members in line with the provisions of the NYSC Bye-Laws.
“The oath of allegiance, which you have just taken today, is solemn. I implore you to always find time to meditate over its spirit and letters and be guided by the same throughout the service year and beyond,” he said.
Ibrahim assured corps members of the Federal Government’s commitment to addressing unemployment through the introduction of policies and programmes.
The director-general, however, urged corps members to take advantage of the skills training opportunities offered by the scheme to prepare to be self-reliant and be employers of labour.
“Happily, the federal government and other stakeholders are leaving no stone unturned in the efforts to address this challenge as clearly demonstrated through various policies and programmes.
“As a scheme that is responsive to prevailing national needs, the NYSC is also assiduous in the implementation of its Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme.
“It is meant to prepare corps members for self-employment and wealth creation through vocational and entrepreneurship training.
“It will also link the corps members with financial institutions and other funding sources for business start-up funds.
“The SAED training will commence in camp in the coming days; I urge you to avail yourselves of this opportunity and acquire useful skills to avoid joining the ranks of unemployed graduates scouting for unavailable white-collar jobs,” he said.
The NYSC boss assured the corps members of adequate implementation of COVID-19 prevention measures in all camps nationwide.
According to Ibrahim, these measures have been put in place in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.
The measures include consistent testing of prospective corps members, course officials and visitors for the virus before admission to camp.
“We are also enforcing physical distancing and wearing of face masks, while handwashing points are located at strategic places.
“I, therefore, call on all members of the camp community to ensure strict compliance with all the prevention protocols throughout the orientation period.
“I also encourage you to present yourselves for the COVID-19 vaccination whenever it is made available in or out of the orientation camp.
“I particularly appreciate the NCDC for the continuous provision of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits and sensitisation materials for usage in all orientation camps since the post-lockdown resumption of orientation course in November 2020,” he said.
In an interview with our reporter, the NYSC FCT coordinator said that the camp received adequate supply of RDT kits for testing of Prospective Corps Members (PCMs), camp officials, and others before entry into the camp.
Abdul, however, noted that a marketer, who sells goods at the camp, tested positive for the virus and was immediately handed over to the NCDC for medical assistance.
“The COVID-19 RDT kits given to the NYSC FCT orientation camp were enough to undertake the testing of everyone that entered the camp during the camp registration process.
“An individual, who sells goods in the camp, tested positive for the virus during the process and was handed over to the NCDC for further medical attention. That is the only recorded case we had,” he said
The coordinator assured corps members that the scheme would continue to do its best to ensure that the camps remained safe for all.
“There are handwashing taps located around the camp to encourage corps members to regularly wash their hands; the use of face mask is also enforced.
“Some corps members have been selected to help enforce the COVID-19 measures. If you check around the camp, you will see them wearing reflective jackets; they are the vanguards of this task,” he said.
It was reported that 1,309 PCMs deployed to undergo the mandatory one-year national youth service in the FCT took the oath of allegiance.
The PCMs were sworn in by Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, the acting Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, who was represented by Justice Suleiman Balgore.