NYSC is symbol of Nigeria's unity -Prof. Ajayi

Prof. Olurotimi Ajayi, the Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun, has advised that the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme should not be scrapped.

Ajayi said in Lagos on Wednesday that the NYSC scheme was a national heritage and a symbol of Nigeria’s unity.

He spoke against the backdrop of the clamour by some people that the scheme should be scrapped.

The scheme was established in 1973 by then Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war.

The scheme, set up by decree No. 24 of May 22, 1973, seeks the development of common ties among Nigerian youths and the promotion of national unity.

Ajayi said that the NYSC scheme should be protected and preserved, since its objective was the promotion of national unity among Nigerians, which it was fulfilling.

He said, “The NYSC scheme is fulfilling its mandate and nothing should hamper its operations; if anything, it must be guarded jealously.

“The scheme was set up to achieve a target of fostering unity among the ethnic tribes in Nigeria, which it has been performing to a large extent.

“I will not in any way support its scrapping because aside that of unity, it also helps the youths to visit other parts of the country.

“Ordinarily, some of the youths wouldn’t have had the opportunity to travel to those places, save the scheme. But more importantly, it enables youths from across the country the opportunity to interact.”

The vice-chancellor said rather than abolish the scheme, government could look at its challenges in order to put it right.

He said, “Rather than scrap the scheme, government should look at the challenges facing the scheme such as insecurity, poor incentives and welfare of the corps members.

“Government can also try to look into restructuring the scheme for better efficiency and coordination; it can be made a skill acquisition centre for youths.

“Corps members that are not comfortable with some parts of the country due to security reasons should not be forced to go there because safety of the corps members comes first.

“The corps members’ allowances should also be reviewed to reflect present realities.”



  1. There is nothing like Nigeria’s unity and there doesn’t seem to ever would be anything like that
    Any of the Nigeria’s ethnic nations that choose to seperate from this unworkable nation should be allowed to go

  2. NYSC is not providing any unity. It is skewed to favour the North. You can imagine when the Southern corpers are sent to north to server and the northern corpers are sent to south to server. After one year of service, the northern corpers are retained in the oil companies and other good firms in the south where they served. The southern corpers are sent to uninhabitable primary and secondary schools in the north and are forced to run back to south after the service without a job. Corpers should be allowed to chose anywhere they wish to serve or else NYSC should be scrapped.

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