The NYSC scheme was created in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country
after the Nigerian Civil war. The unfortunate antecedents in our national history gave
impetus to the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps by decree No.24 of 22nd
May 1973 which stated that the NYSC is being established "with a view to the proper encouragement
and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity".
As a developing country. Nigeria is further plagued by the problems attendant
upon a condition of under development, namely; poverty. mass illiteracy, acute
shortage of high skilled manpower (coupled with most uneven distribution of the
skilled people that are available), woefully inadequate socioeconomic infrastructural
facilities, housing. Water and sewage facilities, road, healthcare services, and effective
communication system. . Faced with these almost intractable problems, which were further compounded
by the burden of reconstruction after the civil war, the government and people of Nigeria set for the
country, fresh goals, and objectives aimed at establishing Nigeria as:
- A united, strong and selfreliant nation.
- A great and dynamic economy.
- a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens.
- The government and people of Nigeria are not aware that sound
and patriotic leadership is a precondition for the rapid social and economic development of the
country. As a nation, Nigeria has been less fortunate in the kind of leadership that emerge
to govern the affairs of the country in the period immediately after independence, a leadership
whose achievements notwithstanding, was none the less ill-prepared. and generally not properly
motivated to tackle the problems of socioeconomic under development, in the interest of the country
as a whole.
- There is no gain saying the fact that the future of any country depends on the youths.
The youths of Nigeria acknowledge this fact, and have consistently laid claim to the nation's leadership.
- While one may give credence to the saying that leaders are born, not made, one must also concede to the fact that leadership in a modem society requires
a certain degree of preparation and orientation before the assumption of that role.
- The universities and other institutions of higher learning are normally expected to be training ground for future leaders, except that, as we are all
aware, these institutions are first and foremost committed to the advancement of learning and knowledge, training of people for good citizenship.
Little wonder that the products of these institutions have been accused of being too elitist in their outlook, of not identifying with the plight
of common man, and of inability to appreciate predicament of the vast majority of our people who live in the rural areas.
- It was the need to look beyond the immediate present and to think of the future leadership of the country that necessitated the mobilisation of certain
categories of our youths through the National Youth Service Corps Scheme. This was done with a view to giving them the proper guidance and orientation
relevant to the needs of the country. The National Youth Setvice Corps Decree No. 24 which has now been repealed and replaced by Decree 51 of 16th June
1993, was then formally promulgated.
- The purpose of the scheme is primarily to inculcate in Nigerian Youths the spirit of selfless service to the community, and to emphasize the spirit of
oneness and brotherhood of all Nigerians, irrespective of cultural or social background. The history of our country since independence has clearly
indicated the need for unity amongst all our people, and demonstrated the fact that no cultural or geographical entity can exist in isolation.
The objectives of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme are clearly spelt out in Decree No.51 of 16th June 1993 as follows:
To inculcate discipline in Nigerian youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work, and of patriotic and loyal service to Nigeria in any situation they may find themselves.
- To raise the moral tone of the Nigerian youths by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievement, social and cultural improvement.
- To develop in the Nigerian youths the attitudes of mind, acquired through shared experience and suitable training, which will make them more amenable to mobilisation in the national interest.
- To develop in the Nigerian youths the attitudes of mind, acquired through shared experience and suitable training. which will make them more amenable to mobilisation in the national interest.
- To enable Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self employment.
- To contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy
- To develop common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.
- To remove prejudices, eliminate ignorance and confirm at first hand the many similarities among Nigerians of all ethnic groups.
- To develop a sense of corporate existence and common destiny of the people of Nigeria.
- The equitable distribution of members of the service corps and the effective utilisation of their skills in area of national needs.
- That as far as possible, youths are assigned to jobs in States other than their States of origin.
- That such group of youths assigned to work together is as representative of Nigeria as far as possible.
- That the Nigerian youths are exposed to the modes of living of the people in different parts of Nigeria.
- That the Nigerian youths are encouraged to eschew religious intolerance by accommodating religious differences.
- That members of the service corps are encouraged to seek at the end of their one year national service, career employment all over Nigeria, thus promoting the free movement of labour.
- That employers are induced partly through their experience with members of the service corps to employ more readily and on a permanent basis, qualified Nigerians,
irrespective of their States of origin.