The House of Representatives is considering a bill seeking to scrap the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
The constitution alteration bill seeks to repeal section 315 (5)(a) of the 1999 constitution which establishes the NYSC and its enabling act.
The NYSC scheme was set up in 1973 during the military regime of Yakubu Gowon as an effort to reconcile and rebuild the country after the civil war.
The bill, which has passed first reading, was sponsored by Awaji-Inombek Abiante, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker from Rivers State.
Abiante told TheCable on Monday that the NYSC scheme has failed to achieve its intended purpose and therefore should be discontinued.
He also said the scheme has led to the untimely death of some corps members who were posted to areas with serious security threats.
“For children of the rich, how many of them would want to go to Sokoto or Yobe? It is still the children of the poor that are sent to those places (where) they are butchered,” he said.
In his explanatory memorandum of the bill, the lawmaker argued that the NYSC “has failed to address the essence of its establishment while several reforms efforts have also not yielded desired results.
“Incessant killing of innocent corps members in some parts of the country due to banditry, religious extremism and ethnic violence; incessant kidnapping of innocent corps members across the country at their places of primary assignment and in transit.
“Public and private agencies and departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths, thus relying heavily on the availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year without any hope of being gainfully employed,” he added.
Apart from serving in their various places of primary assignment, corps members are often deployed for key assignments such as working as ad hoc electoral staff during elections.
However, some of them have either been killed or endangered in the line of duty.
In 2016, a corps member was killed during an election in Rivers State, while many of them were exposed to harm during the 2019 elections.