Lawmakers Withdraw Bill to Exempt Foreign Nigerian Students from NYSC Scheme


Members of the House of Representatives at the plenary, opposed and eventually withdrew a Bill seeking to amend the NYSC Act, to issue exemption certificates to Nigerians schooling abroad and for upward review of corp members allowances.

The proposed legislation tilted, “Bill for an Act to Amend the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap. N84 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Review Upward the Accommodation and Transport Allowances of Corps Members in line with Current realities; and for Related Matters (HBs.716, 1305, 1657, 1922, 1945 & 1674) was sponsored by Hon. Ben Igbakpa, Hon. Eta Mbora, Hon. Abass Adigun, and three other lawmakers.

Igbakpa, who lead the debate on the general principles of the Bill which was presented for second reading, was of the opinion that with the changing times, NYSC scheme should no longer be compulsory, therefore, the Principal Act should be amended to make provision for issuance of exemption certificate to Nigerians schooling abroad.

Still standing his ground, the lawmaker made reference to the case of former Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun who was made to resign because it was alleged that she used a forged certificate to avoid the country’s mandatory one-year youth service scheme.

He said: “This amendment seeks do three different cure because the law as it is today, because of the changing realities of time, anybody that had passed the university and is serving as a corps member automatically has acquired a degree, and it is the belief that this amendment should reflect in their renumeration. Because the 30,000 given to them as it is today, is a minimum wage threshold, and in line with the present reality, it would not be bad, if they are given something that befits a graduate, a level 8 Officer in the public service.

“The third, as at the time the law was made in such a way that we did not consider our children schooling abroad. Not long ago a former Minister of Finance schooled abroad, was above thirty and came to Nigeria to help with the knowledge. But because of the stringent condition placed on the acquisition of certificate of exception there was something wrong and at the end of the day, we lost that intelligence and expertise. When the NYSC law was created Nigerians studying abroad were not considered. Nigerians schooling abroad should be issued certificate of exemption.”

Shortly after his presentation, other lawmakers took turns to oppose the Bill. While they supported increase of remuneration for corp members, they strongly opposed the exemption certificate for foreign Nigerian students.

In his contribution, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase, said the drafters of the laws didn’t make a mistake creating the NYSC scheme, noting that it should be compulsory because it aids national integration.

Wase said: “Those who schooled abroad should comply with the bylaws we have set in the country. In several countries we have programs like this. In USA you have to serve compulsorily in the army for a year. The purpose is integration and discipline.”

Corroborating, Hon. Ahmed Jaha said while he agrees with the remuneration aspect of the Bill, he totally disagrees with the optional part of the Bill.

His words: “Substantial number of graduates recognize the importance of NYSC after having one because by the time they go out they will discover a lot of things they have not been conversant with in their area. So, if you say it is optional people may think it is not serious. they would make it optional and they would be reluctant to go, but if you make it compulsory definitely everybody would go and at least discover something outside his domain.”

As more and more lawmakers stood up and opposed the Bill, the lead sponsor, Igbakpa was left with no choice but to step it down for further consultation. He therefore put the Bill to a voice vote and it was stepped down.












Share post:




More like this

Labour Party Leader Asks Court to Nullify Tinubu’s election, and Declare Him Winner

Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party...

FEC approves $984.7m for NRC Equipment Maintenance

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), has approved 984.7 million...

WAEC Gives Birth to Another Digital Baby

Within the last two years, the West African Examinations...

Foreign Firms Sued Over Alleged Breach of €1.3m Contract

A Nigerian startup firm, Agriconnekt Services, has petitioned the...