By; Elekwachi Chinedum, Abuja.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has warned that it will not hesitate to close down any camp found to be unsuitable during orientation course.
The Director-General of the Scheme, Brigadier General Johnson Olawumi gave the warning at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Batch ‘A’ Pre-Orientation Workshop in Katsina, the Katsina State capital.
Olawumi, who pointed out that facilities in some camps were not only appalling, but also unfit for human habitation, said that the Scheme was already considering not hosting orientation course in two states due to their poor and dilapidated camp facilities.
He reminded state governments that the provision and maintenance of Orientation Camp facilities was their statutory responsibility, urging them to pay more attention to the discharge of that responsibility.
The Director-General also appealed to the state governments to accord priority to the welfare of Corps Members in their employ by ensuring prompt payment of their state allowance for transportation and accommodation.
“As at today, about twenty-six states are owing Corps Members state allowance, with some owing as much as two years arrears.
“This does not portray good image of the states involved as Corps welfare provision is a statutory responsibility of the state governments,” he said.
Olawumi, however, praised the Katsina State Government for its contributions to the successful administration of the scheme in the state, especially through routine renovation of the Orientation Camp and Corps Lodges as well as augmentation of feeding allowance of corps members in camp.
Others are payment of five hundred thousand naira to families of deceased corps members and presentation of award to deserving Corps Members at the end of the service year.
He said the choice of the Pre-Orientation Workshop theme: “Effective Leadership and Synergy in Camp Administration: Essential Tool for a Successful Orientation Course” was in view of the fact that a successful orientation course needed effective leadership and training for both managers of the scheme and all collaborating agencies involved in the course.
In a message to the opening ceremony, the Katsina State Governor Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari said his administration remained a committed friend of the NYSC, adding that it had, since inception, taken issues of security and welfare of Corps Members as matters of top priority.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, spoke of the need to improve synergy among all stakeholders, especially during orientation courses, towards actualization of the dreams of the founding fathers of the scheme.
He thanked the NYSC Management for the choice of Katsina to host the workshop.
Earlier in his introductory address, the NYSC Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Venerable Temitope Ajayi said the workshop served as a forum for critical review of previous orientation exercise with a view to coming up with improved ways for the conduct of the forthcoming one.
He expressed confidence that, with the caliber and wealth of experience of participants, the scheme would achieve the desired outcomes from the workshop.
Participants were drawn from the NYSC top management, State Coordinators as well as collaborating partners such as the Army, Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the NDLEA, Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre and the Red Cross amongst others.
NYSC voows to close dilapidated camps
By; Elekwachi Chinedum, Abuja.