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The post here is designed to redirect interested persons in the critical discussion about the fate and value of the NYSC scheme in today;s Nigeria, given the many challenges and distortions to the original intent of the scheme and its relevance in todays society.
Recall that the scheme was designed and actualized by government to serve as a catalyst for sustainable development in Nigeria after the Nigerian civil war. Thus, on May 22, 1973, the FGN promulgated the Decree 24 of 1973 later amended by Decree No. 21 of 1985 which was later replaced by Decree No 51 of 16th June, 1993, which is now an Act to establish the National Youth Service Corps with the following aims and objectives:
a. To inculcate discipline in Nigerian youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work and of patriotic and loyal service to the nation in any situation they may find themselves;
b. To raise their moral tone by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievement and social and cultural improvement;
c. To develop in them attitudes of mind, acquired through share experience and suitable training, which will make them more amenable to mobilization in the national interest;
d. To develop common ties among them and promote national unity by ensuring that:
i. As far as possible youths are assigned to jobs in states other than their states of origin;
ii. Each group, assigned to work together, is as representative of the country as possible;
iii. The youths are exposed to modes of living of the people in different parts of the country, with a view to removing prejudices, eliminating ignorance and confirming at first hand the similarities among Nigerians of all ethnic groups;
e. To encourage members of the service corps to seek, at the end of their national service, career employment all over the country, thus promoting the free movement of labour;
f. To induce employers, partly through their experience with members of the corps, to employ more readily qualified Nigerian irrespective of their states of origin; and
g. To enable Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self-reliance.
The paper under reference sought to provide a cost and benefit analysis of the scheme.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the economic cost and social benefits of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) set up some years back by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The paper combined qualitative and quantitative information to substantiate the clarion calls by some scholars and concerned social commentators for a review of the NYSC. Based on the objective stated above, a sample size of 200 respondents was selected and administered copies of structured questionnaires in order to elicit information from a cross‐section of Nigerians. At the end, out of the 200 respondents, only 150 respondents returned their questionnaires on the basis of which recommendations and conclusions were based.
The main policy thrust of the scheme is to serve as a catalyst for sustainable development in Nigeria after the Nigerian civil war. However, on the strength of the survey, the authors found that the scheme has failed in many respects in accelerating the socio‐economic development of Nigeria, when the relevance of the scheme is measured by Eight‐Scale Perception Index developed by the authors.
The paper cautions that despite the setback of the NYSC, it would be absurd to advocate that the scheme be scrapped completely. What is rational is for the policymaker to initiate a process for the reform of NYSC scheme in order for it to meet the contemporary expectations and challenges.
The results of this paper support the structural‐agency framework in sociology. The relationship between structure and agency is seen as a dialectical one because society forms the individuals, who in turn create better society by forming a continuous loop. NYSC was laudable at inception, but humans made it crooked; it is therefore expedient that the scheme be revitalized by humans in order to meet contemporary challenges.
(Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria)
(Department of Social Science, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria)
L. Raimi, O. Alao, (2011) "Evaluation of the economics (cost and benefits) of National Youth Service Corps for sustainable development in Nigeria", Humanomics, Vol. 27 Iss: 4, pp.270 - 281
Type: Conceptual paper
Publication: Humanomics: The International Journal of Systems and Ethics
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright: © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2011
Download report here:
1. Evaluation of the economics (cost and benefits) of National Youth Service Corps – 2011 EMERALD ...
2. National Youth Service Corps | Home
3. NYSC | Objectives - National Youth Service Corps