By Evelyn Omotoye
The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure has disclosed that the Federal Government has approved the enrolment of Corps Members into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Kazaure gave the disclosure in an interview with newsmen yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 2018 edition of the NYSC Annual Management Conference which coincides with the 45th anniversary of the Scheme held in Akure.
The D-G also revealed that apart from the approval of enrollment into the NHIS, the orientation camp of the scheme now has a consultant from the Federal Medical Centre on ground as part of the partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health to attend to any critical emergency health issue.
Kazaure used the opportunity to commend the Corps Members who participated in the Osun State guber poll for being good ambassadors of NYSC, saying the report he got was impressive.
On the increment of allowance of Corps Members, he noted that the scheme just as the civil service will receive adequate attention as soon as the new national minimum wage is approved.
In his welcome address, Kazaure said the scheme had cleared the backlog of unpaid staff allowances and also created a robust forum to interface with members of staff and labour unions for industrial harmony.
The DG said the theme of the conference is very apt in view of the laudable achievements recorded by the Scheme in its 45 years of existence and the need to evolve strategies that will enhance operations and open new opportunities.
The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in his speech said that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has contributed tremendously to the development of the nation’s democracy.
Akeredolu, represented by his deputy, Hon Agboola Ajayi who noted that the sustenance of the Scheme will continue to impact on the society, pointed out that NYSC has contributed over 80percent to the nation’s development and has deepened democracy.
“NYSC has not only harmonised the diverse ethnic groups of Nigeria, but also reduced prejudices and misconceptions thereby promoting mutual trust, understanding and tolerance”, saying the scheme has been an outstanding initiative in the task of nation building with a significant impact on national development.
Akeredolu said the annual management conference with the theme “NYSC At 45: Consolidating Gains and Creating Opportunities”, is an indication that the Management is poised towards repositioning the Scheme to face its current challenges.
The Governor stated that the state is delighted to host the event owing to the stream of support the state has consistently enjoyed from the scheme through the deployment of corps members especially in the rural areas, maintaining that NYSC is a reliable partner in the supply of manpower to the various sectors over the years.
“As a way of appreciating the contribution of corps members to the development of the state, my administration has also introduced a package of N100, 000, N80, 000 and N50, 000 for the state honour award winners”, the governor added.
Akeredolu, highlighted some of his administration’s achievements since inception, assured that his government will not relent in its efforts to support the NYSC in order to assist the Scheme to achieve its aims and objectives in the development of the state and the entire nation.
In her goodwill message, the NYSC National Governing Board Chairperson, Amb. Fatima Balla Abubakar stated that the Board was attending the AMC in compliance with President Buhari’s charge to enhance service delivery by the Scheme through improved operational strategies.
Abubakar said the theme of this year’s edition is a reminder of the present administration’s quest to reposition the economy by opening new opportunities for the youths in the country, assuring that the government will continue to make positive contributions that would stage the scheme for greater impacts.
Earlier in an introductory address by the NYSC Director Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs Victoria Okakwu, said the choice of Akure as the venue for the conference was informed by the unrelenting support, uncommon hospitality, love and care the scheme enjoy from the government, stakeholders and good people of Ondo State.
She informed that the annual management conference is an event where top managers of the Scheme, State Coordinators Deputy Directors and other critical stakeholders across government and nongovernmental organisations meet to review the operations of the scheme with a view to formulating policies that would drive it to greater performance.
She added that the focus of the conference is to brainstorm and come up with practicable solutions and strategies that will reposition and promote the ideals of the scheme in both present and future operating environment.