THE NEED FOR NIGERIA FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PAY (NYSC) CORPS MEMBERS THEIR ARREARS
Education, either formal or informal is the bedrock of a prosperous family and nation as a whole. Education is the mother of inventions; whereas, inventions and innovations are the lasting solutions for our socio-economic challenges as a nation.
Education is a very strong weapon to overcome unemployment crises, therefore, endeavor to get quality education, however, for education to be profitable adventure, it must be; right education – that is, it must be entrepreneurial driven.
Application education, that is practicable knowledge, not just obtaining certificate, but a solution driven education. “A true educated person is one who can think solution in the midst of challenges
The recent increment of the allowance of Corps members by the Federal Government in all sincerity is commendable to a fault and it is a sign of victory for the demand of an improved wage for serving Corps members.
Today, our land is bedeviled with high cost of living but in contrast, a low standard of living which means that even the increment in the popularly known as “allawee” cannot have any significant effect on the living condition of the Corp members, in a country where the standard of living has dropped drastically with 158 out of 189 on HD index (2019).
The increase in VAT from about 5% to 7.7% also takes its own toll on the significant effect of living conditions of corps members, as consumers are now charged 12% more on most of the finished goods they purchase including phone calls and data.
By virtue of this, the level of inflation since the implementation of 19,000 naira minimum wage till the current battle for 30,000 naira minimum wage has drastically outweighed the purchasing power of the masses. Therefore, i see no significant difference between the 19,800 naira corp members’ allowance in 2012 and the 33,000 naira of 2020. I expect that our Corps members should even earn more than they do by now.
Corps members that have no other alternative, live on this stipends, and some of them go to the extreme of borrowing more even before their allowance came in, before they realized it, only little is left for them to survive with, till the end of the month. It’s would however not be out of place if concluded by saying corps members are suffering and smiling, some of them only derive joy and happiness in putting on the NYSC khaki uniform, as it spelt out and gives them enough reason to believe that, they are now in another phase of life achievement.
Most importantly, some of the corps members that are posted to some of these remote area where means of surviving was/is very challenging and extremely difficult in living, only to found out that some of them equally engaged in farming and agricultural produced.
A narrative of a friend of mine that engaged in more than four works everyday, from his Place of Primary Assignment where he teaches, down to WAEC and JAMB tutorial centre, thereabout to his landlord farmlands where he always assisted him in planting, harvesting and weeding of the crops, that is how he have his daily routine of work. With all these work, yet, all the hard earned money would still end up with feeding and other domestic spending, which is necessary for the hope of surviving the required one year scheme
Going forward, is now more like the Nigeria Federal Government are intentionally exposing Nigerians graduate to economic hardship, which can be interpreted as modern slavery.
Honestly speaking, all professions and career have several entrepreneurial activities within them, this means that, a graduate can start his or her own business within the scope of the profession or career someone’s acquired it’s certificate, by being creative, innovative and problem solving.
As an entrepreneur, you must think beyond the normal routine of practicing your professional career, by thinking like there’s no box, identifying of problems within your profession and develop yourself to providing solutions to them. An identified problem equals business opportunity, which is; desire, discover, develop and deploy.
In the light of that, this innovation and skills being acquired through the aspect of skills learnt while in camp, which is called “Skills Acquisition Entrepreneurship Development” (SAED), some corps members also goes further by continue the learning through out their one year scheme
As such, it would be interesting and app-laudable, if Nigeria Federal Government would do the needful by paying the arrears for these corps members, if this payment is made, definitely, there won’t be any reason for these corps members to start searching for white collar Job that is not even available, since they are already equiped with entrepreneurship skills, what is left for them is little capital to finance themselves and start up these businesses
In this view, while i commend the necessity of the increment in corps members’ allowance, i give fundamental salutation to the rank and file of Nigerian workers, who keep fighting for befitting reward for their labour. To this end, we call on every Nigerian not to relent in the struggle for a better country that guarantees proper welfare of all.
However, the Nigerian government must as a matter of urgency, ensure the implementation of 30,000 naira minimum wage across all States and sectors. The Federal Government must also improve her commitment to robust funding of education in the country. I believe that the backbone for a better country remains the educational background of the people, thus, it would be good enough if all Governors to equally follow suit by paying the 30,000 minimum wage.
In furtherance, I use this medium to call on the Federal Government to equally pay arrears of increment to the corps members who had served since the passing of the new minimum wage law.
Also, I charge all corps members to troop out en-masse and have a solidarity walk as against the background of the arrears and make their voices to be heard. It is freedom of expression, guided and enshrined in the constitution.
On behalf of Corps members across the Federation, I plead for their arrears to be paid, and graduate deserved more than this.
By YAHYA OLUWASEUN A writer, Advocate of Youth In Governance and Public Analyst.