A retired Diplomat, Amb. Martin Uhomoibhi, says the proposed National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Trust Fund was key to Nigeria’s survival.
”This proposed fund would be one of the best things that will happen to Nigeria since her independence in 1960.
”The NYSC Trust Fund is about the future of Nigeria and all hands must be put on deck, to enable it see the light of the day,” he said.
Mr Uhomoibhi, who was a retired Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, disclosed this on Tuesday, in Abuja, at the closing of a three-day symposium on the imperatives of an NYSC Trust Fund.
The former envoy, who is also the President, Pan African Institute For Global Affairs and Strategy, added:” The fund is possible, its doable and it can be done.”
The President, Historical Society of Nigeria, Prof. Okpheh Ochayi, noted that after 45 years of existence, the scheme required” rejigging and re-tooling.”
In the paper entitled: “An overview of the imperatives of an NYSC Trust Fund,” he said: ” This is more to reasonably tackle some of the transmuting challenges it has continued to contend with.
They include: ”Paucity of funds, declining infrastructure, constraints imposed by the rapid increase in the population of corps members, poor remuneration for staff and corps members and indiscipline.”
Ochayi, who is also a Professor of African History, Federal University, Lafia, noted that an NYSC Trust Fund should provide the scheme relative financial autonomy.
”It should also deepen its operational capacity, empower it to more effectively confront the emerging economic challenges of the 21st century. It should strengthen the NYSC to contribute even more to national development,” he added.
The president further disclosed that the fund would help the scheme to expand the scope of collaborations between it and its partners.
Ochayi added:” The fund should help to stabilize the NYSC in terms of meeting its mandate, within measurable time frames.
”It should reposition the NYSC and corps members to better and even more reasonably contribute to national development, at all levels.”
Also speaking, the National President, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Asefon Sunday, promised to embark on intensive mobilization and advocacy to the realization of the trust fund.