President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday reiterated the need to sustain the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for enhancing national unity.
The President spoke on Thursday while hosting some NYSC members, led by the Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Mr Sunday Dare, and the scheme’s Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Shehu.
A statement in Abuja by the Special Adviser (SA) to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted President Buhari as saying the scheme had afforded Nigerian youths the opportunity to understand the country better.
“People come from far and wide; some from Victoria Island in Lagos have not even been to Ikeja. They now find themselves in Daura and other parts of the country. Whenever I go to my town, I get in touch with members; some of them from Lagos, some from Port Harcourt,” he said.
President Buhari hailed former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, for initiating the scheme.
“Whenever I meet General Gowon, up till today, I thank him for initiating the NYSC. It is a nationalist and patriotic thinking that led to the development of the scheme,” the President added.
Four NYSC members from different parts of the country were on the visit to express their “deepest gratitude” to the President for the recent increase in their monthly allowances -from N19,800 to N33,000.
“The implementation in January, when we least expected it, brought tears of joy to us as we had doubts about the promises earlier made.
“You have demonstrated that you are a loving and caring father whom is committed to the welfare of his children,” they said.