The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has promised to sustain its support for the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, especially in the area of providing facilities in the orientation camps in the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.
He affirmed that the NYSC scheme had been very beneficial to the country, noting that it had helped to build a sense of belonging among Nigerians, as well as helped to unite the country. He added: “For someone like me, I went to the northern part of Nigeria for the first time during my service year. I am very happy that I served in Kano because some of the lessons I learnt there have helped me to live a better life today.”
Ekere called on all Nigerians to promote and support the NYSC programme, because of the role it was playing in nation building, particularly in electioneering, where most of the ad hoc staff used by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct elections were youth corps members.
He noted: “This has become very helpful because before now, when INEC was using locals for elections, they come in with their individual biases. But the youth corps members, who are mostly not from the area, help in ensuring credible and fair elections.”
The NDDC boss suggested that the NYSC programme should incorporate some basic military training, stating: “I know that in some western countries, that is the system in vogue. There are basic military trainings that will help our youths to become better men by inculcating the virtues of discipline, punctuality and responsibility in them. The trainings will help the participants to grow up with some basic knowledge.”
The NYSC Director-General, Brig-Gen. Kazaure, acknowledged the “tremendous help” NDDC had rendered to the scheme in the past. He said: “We felt the need to solicit for more assistance in the provision of facilities in our orientation camps because some of the amenities in these camps have broken-down.”
Kazaure decried the poor state of facilities in the camps, calling on the NDDC to extend more assistance to the NYSC. He promised to put more corps members at the disposal of the Commission.
It will be recalled that the NDDC built a 44-chalet ultra-modern lodge for members of the NYSC serving in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.