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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE YEARLY NYSC PRESIDENTIAL MERIT AWARD

By TOSIN ADU

Few years after the 1973 inauguration of the National Youth Service Corps ( NYSC), as one of the post civil war strategies to achieve national reconciliation, reintegration and development through the activities of corps members who are posted to regions of the country other than theirs, the federal government introduced the yearly presidential merit award to some deserving corps members who have distinguished themselves in service to their father land. This wonderful gesture by the presidency over the years has added to the spark and vigor at which corps members had thrived to outsmart and out do one another in service rendering and the carrying out of different developmental projects which have direct bearing and impacts on communities especially those in the rural areas. This has been a yearly event and has never been interrupted since it's inception except for the time of political instability as suffered during the IBB's regime following the annulment of June 12 presidential election, when the exercise was suspended for some years.

Upon the assumption of office by the present government, some loudable amendments were made to the scheme( NYSC) and more incentives were added to include a federal scholarship of post graduate studies up to PHD level as well as automatic employment and some monetary reward. This was seen as a great move towards youth empowerment and a step in the right direction towards instilling hard work in Nigerian youths and also a strategy to give credence to the NYSC scheme, but this euphoria is being short lived as the nominees for 2011/2012 batch is neither shortlisted nor awarded anything and no reason has been given for this.

I learnt this event which is conducted by the president of the federal republic Nigeria was supposed to hold at most December, 2012 which signals the end of a NYSC service year, which is usually batch C of a previous year and batches A and B of the current year. Presently another service year is counting as batch A of 2012 has already passed out.

This topic is worth discussing and if possible let the concerned authority know that issues like this that affect the behavior and attitude of Nigerian youths shouldn't be joked with because of the multiplier effects( positive or negative alike) it could have on the country. The National Youth Service Corps( NYSC) has over the years play a very significant role in national development especially in the rural communities where basic infrastructures are lacking. These youths who work with the aim that their country may recognize them by awards or recommendation should not be let down by the lackadaisical attitude of some of our leaders.

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