NIGERIA may end up suspending the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp for two years after the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) put together to suggest solutions to the economic collapse brought about by Covid-19 recommended it.
So far, Nigeria has had 16,658 cases of coronavirus, of which there have been 424 casualties and although the figures have been relatively low, the government took decisive action to combat the spread of the virus. An economic shutdown that involved the closing of businesses, markets and the imposition of a travel ban, created severe hardship across Nigeria.
Apart from this, global demand for Nigeria’s crude oil all but ceased, leaving the country with millions of barrels of petroleum it could not sell. Given that about 95% of federal government revenue comes from the receipt of crude oil, Nigeria has been unable to fund her 2020 budget, forcing the government to approach the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for loans.
To ameliorate the effects of the shutdown, the federal government set up an ESC chaired by vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo, which recently submitted its report. One of its recommendations was that the government should suspend the NYSC orientation camp for two years.
The committee, however, recommended that the deployment of corpers on primary assignment will still go on despite suspension. In addition, the committee also recommended the implementation of virtual convocation ceremonies with the issuance of certificates, with postponed ceremonies, in a bid to continue the progression of education.
Its report read: “The immediate focus in the education sector is to address the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and ensure social distancing measures at all levels of education. Practical steps will be taken to minimize disruption to learning and appropriate utilization of technology.
“In a similar context, consideration will be given to suspending the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp exercises for at least 24 months while allowing deployment to places of primary assignment. This will ensure that there is no backlog in the national service placement in the country.”
Nigeria’s 2020 Batch A Stream One Orientation Course was suspended after a week, as part of the measures to contain the spread of Covid-19. Earlier on this year, the NYSC submitted a proposal for approval which includes guidelines to reopen camps across the country.