When General Yakubu Gowon established the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme on May 22, 1973, he saw the need to create an avenue to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war.
The NYSC scheme was created by decree No. 24 which stated that the scheme was established with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity.
The major objectives of the scheme were to create a united, strong and self-reliant nation, a great and dynamic economy, a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens.
It was also meant 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.
But 43 years after the creation of the NYSC, it is now glaring thatit has lost its glamour and relevance and there is the need to either scrap it or restructure it to bring about the effective reorientation the founding fathers had in mind.
There are so many reasons that proponents of the scrapping of the NYSC scheme put up and it is pertinent the government of the day takes a more cursory look at it.
Over the years, the scheme has not been up to scratch with the ideals it was set up with as Corps members have been neglected, used as Guinea Pigs and dumped at will, so much that it is no longer the desire of every young Nigerian student to look forward to being posted to another state to serve the nation on graduation.
It has been watered down and at times, young graduates pay their ways to be posted to states they prefer or even remain in the home states for several reasons.
The NYSC scheme is now seen as a conduit pipe for siphoning public funds. Corruption has permeated its very fabric and creates an avenue or the staff of the secretariat to enrich themselves.
The orientation camps are not maintained with diseases spreading rampantly. Corps members have lost their lives due to lack of medical facilities in the camps while some only go there to indulge in unlawful activities.
Their allowances are not paid on time while some officials connive with the Corps members to defraud the body.
The prevalent insecurity in the country is another reason why the NYSC scheme should be phased out immediately. Corps members have been killed in the North-Eastern state where insurgency has become the order of the day while in the South and South-West, many of them have been abducted, maimed and killed.
The cases of Corps members killed during election duties in different parts of the country are still fresh in the minds of Nigerians. Many of them have been killed in avoidable accidents while traveling to the states they were posted to.
In the past few weeks, Nigerians have lost three promising Corps members in strange circumstances in orientation camps in Zamfara, Bayelsa, and Kano States due to the negligence of the officials at the camp.
The case of Rachael Oladepo, a 26-year-old a first-class graduate in Aviation Transport Management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, at the NYSC orientation camp in Kano is the most pathetic.
Reports have it that the lady who had reported to the camp sick was forced to join in a parade with the camp officials thinking she was pretending to be sick.
When her condition got out of hand, she was taken to the clinic and was given an injection that worsened her condition. The young lady died in the process, another young dream dimmed due to incompetence.
With the defeat of the original intentions of Gen. Gowon, it is right to believe that the NYSC scheme has overstayed its welcome and should be scrapped with immediate effect.