Contrary to the recommendation of the Economic Sustainability Committee under the leadership of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the federal government has gone ahead to reopen the National Youths Service Corps orientation camps nationwide next Tuesday amid the rampaging coronavirus.
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The Osinbajo-led committee had canvassed for the suspension of the three-week programme.
The recommendation was premised on the disruption in the academic calendar occasioned by COVID-19 and the dire need to curtail the spread of the virus via non-pharmaceutical protocols with the report saying that instead of the corps members spending days in camps, they should be posted directly to their various places of assignment.
The spurn of the committee’s advice has provoked mixed reactions with an undisclosed source in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development explaining that the federal government opted for the reopening due to pressure from vested interests in an interview with Punchng.com.
The paper quoted the source as saying, “About 90 per cent of the budget of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development goes to the NYSC. You can check it. There is no way the government will suspend the orientation programme for two years. The orientation camp is a key component of the NYSC. Contracts have been given.
“It was just like when the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs insisted on continuing with the school feeding programme even when schools were shut during the lockdown.”