BY Acha Kelvin
The average Nigerian graduate looks forward to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with great expectation, only to be disappointed with the scheme due largely to its haphazard way of operation.
Not that the former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon did not mean well by his creation of the NYSC scheme, as we may know, the scheme was meant to promote intercultural values, norms and beliefs with the intent to foster a one Nigeria.
But from personal observations, I make bold to write that the scheme has failed woefully, especially in our generation. It is common to see Nigerian youths engaged in e-wars through the different social media and web2.0 platforms like facebook and nairaland abusing their different tribes and religions or faiths.
Most times I use to wonder if we the youths are really educated or we just passed through schools, because our actions don’t always indicate we are schooled. In the United States, for instance (which is by far bigger than Nigeria), there is that spirit of togetherness and oneness. This is why you see a black American raises the flag and the white American will respond in a thunderous voice mixed with words like “God bless America.”
But trust me, try this in Nigeria as a Yoruba man by raising the Nigerian flag and see the reaction of your Igbo and Hausa counterparts, as they explode with hatred. So what is the use of the NYSC scheme anyway?
While conversing with a friend on this NYSC issue, he pointed to me that the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development, SAED, program introduced to the NYSC scheme has helped a lot of youth to be self employed. Well my reply to his hallucinations was “in your dreams”.
Let me explain to you how this said SAED program is being run. The SAED “hustler” who is known as the consultant or skills trainer will show up at the orientation camp to train corps members on a given skill, he will just bring out the basis and drop his address for corps members to go and pay N40,000 or more to learn the skills in full without teaching the corps members how to sell the product or services being learnt.
Now, how do you expect a corps member like “Ochuko” who was posted from Delta state to Zamfara or Jalingo to cope with the N19,800 and still cough out N40,000 or more in order to learn one skill, and you still expect him to raise up capital to establish himself? Mind you, Ochuko’s mother is a smoked fish and kpokpo garri seller at Sapele.
You see how baseless this NYSC scheme is? Though one of my bosses will say the NYSC scheme is meaningful then, as corps members get to know about their different cultures and traditions; it is actually baseless now. The government under the President Buhari administration should use the following points in order to promote the unity of our great nation, Nigeria. Mind you, we are part of the government and we should also contribute our own quota. Below are my points;
• The NYSC scheme should be rebranded and remodeled with strict management to meet the goals or better still, it should be cancelled.
• The core values of Nigeria should be created and made a permanent signature tune to everyone, especially the very young ones.
• Parents and teachers should teach and educate children from the age of ten downward on the Nigerian Core values and belief without any sentimental limitations to any tribe or religion.
• A law should be passed to erase any form of origination and beliefs in data gathering. For instance, while filling a form, the state of origin, local government and religion field should not be seen. Everyone should be seen as a Nigerian.
• Parents should be role models to children because there is little or nothing the school or president can do to foster the unity of the children.
All these can change the way we see things in another twenty to fifty years if only we can act upon them.
Kelvin blogs on www.biznessbuildup.com