The federal government has allocated N500 as daily feeding allowance for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). This was disclosed yesterday by the Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier-General Johnson Bamidele Olawumi.
He made the disclosure at a House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition investigative public hearing on the N4,000 online registration fee imposed on prospective corps members by the corps.
A civil society coalition: ‘Say No Campaign’ had dragged the NYSC before the Uzor Azubike-led House committee in protest against the contentious fees.
While responding to the petition, Brigadier Olawumi, who alluded to the poor welfare of the corp members, disclosed that the federal government approved N500 as feeding allowance for each corp member per day.
He also disclosed that over N800 million was required to setup the computer registration system the NYSC is presently using for its online registration.
He explained that the fees will service a private sector driven build, operate and transfer agreement. He said the registration equipment will be installed at NYSC offices nationwide.
He said the process was approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement with a certificate of no objection.
While noting that the N4,000 for the online registration is voluntary, he said rather than request for money to install the infrastructure, he would prefer to canvass for increment of the current N19,800 allowance being to prospective Corp member.
In his presentation, Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu of ‘Say No Campaign’ called for the “reversal of the proposed N4,000 fee payment and where payment has been made, a refund to the prospective Corp members.”
Nwagwu stressed the need to “re-examine the laws establishing the NYSC that seems to have made the Director General of the Corp an exclusive preserve of serving military officers.”
On September 30, federal lawmakers launched an inquest into the controversial N4,000 online registration fee and consequently urged NYSC to suspend the policy.
Hon. Hassan Saleh (Benue/PDP) in lead debates on a motion moved on the matter described the NYSC policy as “insensitive and exploitative”.
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