As the country commemorates the 50th anniversary of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), President Muhammadu Buhari has praised the programme for its golden years.
The scheme was implemented following the Civil War of 1967-1970 as part of a post-war policy aimed at reconciling and integrating young Nigerians from all parts of the country.
In a statement issued on Friday by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president praised former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) for his foresight in establishing the NYSC in 1973.
“I commend the former Head of State, past and present Directors General of the Corps, academic institutions, and the Nigerian Army for inspiring and sustaining a 50-year legacy and also providing an enabling environment for the success of the scheme,” he said.
According to him, the scheme has truly achieved the goal of national integration, by providing opportunities for cross-cultural interactions and establishing a bridge for improved understanding of various individual and ethnic identities.
He noted that the scheme has underscored the bottom line of the common values of fairness, justice, peace and unity.
“The NYSC scheme remains one the strongest ideals of nation building, institutionally encouraging inter-cultural and inter-religious marriages, resettling of people of various tribes in different parts of the country.
“Exploration of entrepreneurship and business opportunities in places, among citizens, and enabling a new culture of oneness, brotherliness and neighbourliness,” Buhari stated.
He affirmed that the scheme should be sustained, with a constant reminder of its history, structure and purpose, adding that it should not be undermined for any reason.
The President wished the best for all potential corps members as they move to different parts of the country, to share and explore new experiences of the diversity of Nigeria.