Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has asked the Governing Board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to reform the scheme to bring it in line with modern realities.
The governor, who gave the charge while receiving the Governing Board led by its Chairman, Ambassador Fatimah Bala Abubakar, at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, equally urged the members of the NYSC governing board to make the scheme more relevant to contemporary national realities.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa quoted Makinde as also pledging to continually support infrastructural uplift at the permanent orientation camp of the NYSC in Iseyin, Oyo State.
Speaking during the courtesy visit, Governor Makinde said that his administration will continue to provide facilities that will make operations at the permanent orientation camp conducive.
He also urged members of the NYSC governing board to introduce more initiatives that will bring the scheme in consonance with modern realities.
He said: “We believe so much in the NYSC programme. I never had the opportunity to go outside of this region until I went for my NYSC in 1990. The programme has brought a lot of people together and it has helped in fostering national unity.
“There should have been a lot of modifications to the programme. So, I will encourage the Governing Board to look at those things we can modernise so that the programme will remain relevant to our situation right now as opposed to when it was founded in 1973.
“I am aware of all of the things listed here as challenges because I have had the opportunity to meet with the NYSC state coordinator and she has made some requests. We are looking at them. We could not do some last year because it was obviously a tough year for everybody in this country and for the whole world.
“We hope to support NYSC in Oyo State, despite the pandemic and other challenges the state is being faced with and we will support them with some of their requests this year.”
Makinde noted further that the NYSC scheme has continued to be a source of personnel for the state, especially from the health and medical sector.
“I must add quickly that NYSC in Oyo State has been a source of personnel for the state, especially from the health and medical sector. They have played vital roles for us. So, we want to support them and ensure that all the protocols and requirements imposed on all of us by COVID-19, they are able to meet up and adjust their facilities accordingly,” he said.
The governor added that he has directed the Commissioner for Finance to factor the NYSC into the state’s COVID-19 support funds, adding that his administration will continue to improve the standards of the NYSC in the state.
Earlier, the Chairman of NYSC Governing Board, Ambassador Fatimah Bala Abubakar, said that the team was on a visit to inspect the State’s NYSC permanent Orientation Camp.
She appreciated the State government’s numerous interventions in improving the situation of the Camp, saying that the increment of Corps members allowance from N4,000 to N5,000 was a welcome development.