The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has directed the management of universities to reduce the number of graduates to be mobilised for the 2016 batch ‘B’ orientation course.

Preparations for the batch B orientation course, which is supposed to begin on November 24, are underway as institutions are expected to have begun submission of approved graduates.

However, as a result of the recent developments, tertiary institutions are battling with how to formulate the criteria for selecting graduates to go for orientation.

K. A. Ogunleye, registrar of Bowen University, says the institution “has been requested to mobilise only three hundred and sixty-seven (367) graduates out of the nine hundred and fifty six (956) graduates eligible for the exercise in 2016”.

“The remaining graduates will be given priority in the next mobilisation exercise scheduled for early 2017.

“Parents/guardians as well as graduates are kindly requested to note that management is already considering the criteria to be used for the mobilisation of the allocated number of graduates”, added Ogunleye.

A recent graduate of Babcock University, who is awaiting mobilisation, told TheCable Lifestyle that the institution is “trying” to work out a solution.

“When I heard, I called someone in school and the person is part of the management. Although the person did not tell me the actual figure NYSC gave them, he said that they were trying to work something out”, said the Babcock graduate.

Similarly, recent graduates of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) revealed that out of the over 4,000 students ready for mobilisation, the scheme intends to select a quarter of them for batch ‘B’ orientation.

Either all or none

Meanwhile, students who are waiting to be mobilised have started a social media campaign with the hashtag “#EitherAllOrNothing”, which they are using to protest the proposed quota system introduced by the scheme.

According to the aggrieved students, the only options available to NYSC is to mobilise all eligible graduates or scrap the entire scheme.

Graveyard silence from NYSC

In various posts on the social media accounts of the NYSC, students have questioned the authenticity of the quota system.

A letter addressed to heads of department in Nnamdi Azikwe university has been circulated on the internet.

The letter, whose authenticity cannot be independently confirmed by TheCable Lifestyle, contains an invitation to ballot on behalf of prospective corps members as the quota of the university has been reduced from 2,314 to 894.

The letter from UNIZIK
The letter from UNIZIK

It is believed that the nation’s recession and the paucity of funds are contributory factors to the present situation, however, the only indication that the NYSC might be having financial constraints is a post on its Facebook page.

The post is a report of the meeting between the scheme and the senate committee on Youths and Sports development.

It reads: “The Senate Committee on Youth and Sports Development has stressed the need for adequate budgetary provisions to enable the National Youth Service Corps mobilize all eligible graduates for national service.”

TheCable Lifestyle has reached out to the NYSC for confirmation of the reduction but has gotten no response thus far.

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