Senators urge Federal Government to Overhaul NYSC Scheme

Yesterday the Senate urged the Federal Government to overhaul and reposition the NYSC in the interest of corps members.

The resolution followed a review of the death of three corps members – Miss Oladepo, Miss Elechi Chiyerom and Mr. Ukeme Asuquo in orientation camps in Kano, Zamfara and Bayelsa.

Chief Whip Senator Olusola Adeyeye, (Osun Central) painted the pathetic deaths of the corps members at the NYSC camps.

Senators in plenary agreed with Adeyeye that steps should be taken for the total overhaul of NYSC scheme.

The Senate agreed that the state of orientation camps across the country was unfit for human habitation.

Apart from total overhaul of the scheme, the Senate urged the government to immediately improve medical facilities in all NYSC orientation camps including deploying experienced medical personnel in the camps.

The upper chamber also mandated its Committee on Sports and Youth Development to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the three corps members in order to prevent future occurrence.

Adeyeye said: “The death of corps members is becoming a recurrent decimal in almost all NYSC Camps across the country. Experienced medical personnel are practically non-existent in all our Orientation Camps across the country as fresh doctors who have not garnered any experience are the ones administering treatments to corps members.

“Medical facilities at most Orientation Camps leave a lot to be desired as one of the deceased, Ifedolapo called home five hours to her death and told her sister, Mrs. Oyeyode Abimbola (a nurse) to start coming to her Kano Orientation Camp, alleging poor care at the NYSC camp.

“An Orientation Camp that houses over 3,000 corps members cannot boast of modern facilities to cater for the needs of corps members while undergoing the mandatory Orientation Programme.”

Deputy Senate Minority Leader Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South) described the death of the corps members as a sad development.

Bwacha said, “What I have heard confirms what I thought was in the realm of speculations. It may not have been intentional, but I think it was an act of irresponsibility. How can we not provide medical attention to a sick person? We look forward to the outcome of the investigation.

”An example should be set. To say the least, this is a barbaric act. That calls for a rethink about the NYSC Act.

”Is it really worth it to go and die in an orientation camp? Politicians use these same corps members to rig elections and we do not value their lives.”

Senator Binta Garba (Adamawa North) noted that “It is time to look and overhaul the NYSC as an agency of government.”

Senate President Bukola Saraki also underscored the need to address the issue of health services in NYSC orientation camps.

Saraki said that funds to address the issue of health services in NYSC camps should be captured in the 2017 budget.

Sebastiane Ebatamehi

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