Contrary to reports circulating in the mainstream media, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo did not call for the suspension of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, made this known on Tuesday via Twitter.
He said, “It is important to correct that it is the paramilitary orientation camping that is being considered to be suspended for at least 24 months, NOT the deployment to places of the primary assignment i.e. the longer part of the NYSC programme would NOT be affected in case this idea is okayed.”
The Economic Sustainability Committee in its report submitted by Osinbajo last week recommended the direct mobilisation of prospective corps members to their places of primary assignment.
It stated explicitly that the PCMs should be made to skip the camping exercise to maintain social distancing as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.
To put it directly, the Economic Sustainability Plan DID NOT call for the suspension of NYSC for two years as erroneously reported in the media; it ONLY recommended the interim suspension of the three-week paramilitary camping that precedes primary assignments.
For the records, the Plan partly read, “The immediate focus in the Education sector is to address the disruptions caused by the pandemic and ensuing (sic) social distancing measures at all levels of education. Practical steps will be taken to minimise disruption to learning, utilising technology as appropriate.
“Specifically, virtual learning will be implemented (either online or through broadcast), virtual convocation ceremonies or issuance of certificates (with postponed ceremonies) should be implemented to continue educational progression.
“In a similar context, consideration will be given to suspending the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp Exercises for at least 24 months while allowing deployments to places of primary assignment. This will ensure that there is no backlog in the National Service placement pipeline.”