Jonathan gives employment, scholarships to corps members


President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday approved automatic employment to no fewer than 164 corps members not yet employed in batches 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Also, scholarships were given to those who wanted to proceed immediately for their masters and doctorate degrees.

He made the announcement during the combined 2012, 2013 and 2014 President’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Honours Award ceremony held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This was even as he told the Director General of NYSC, the Ministers of Finance and Youth Development that “this would be the last time I will preside over combined presidential award ceremonies,” saying the combined ceremony was denying the corps members of the benefits of the awards, especially for those who would want to further their studies.

In the same vein,  nine corps members from 2013 service year, who became disabled during their service year, have through the NYSC Hope Alive Initiative, been given, N23.5 million cash awards and employment.

The nine affected corps members were Susan Uwouku from Benue, Alade Bukola  Olawaseun from Ekiti, Hunsu Oluwafemi Emmanuel from Lagos State, Igheghe Ijeoma from Delta State, and Akinrujomi Folarin from Ondo State.

Others were Nwagbara Eberechi from Rivers State, Kayode Funke, Samuel Nggada and Samuel Abigail from Oyo State.

A break down of the cash awards showed that N5 million from Ibeto Group went to one of the corps members whose condition prevented her from attending the ceremony, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, gave the nine members N5 million, while Heritage Bank gave N1.5 million each to all nine members and 30 automatic employment to others.

President Jonathan, who said the Hope Alive Programme was very dear to him, commended the NYSC for the initiative that identified and recognized corps members, who were physically challenged due to injuries they sustained in the course of the National Service to their fatherland.

“The concern demonstrated by the NYSC in identifying and recommending some of them for appointment into the Federal Civil Service, while also assisting others financially, to enable them cater for their needs, is highly commendable. We must take care of the needy without hesitation.

“The prompt response and pragmatism with which the scheme addresses issues of national emergencies has also been demonstrated in the way it has successfully keyed into the global campaign against the dreaded ebola virus disease (EVD).

“We are proud of the NYSC’s contribution which puts in place appropriate awareness strategies about the disease in our rural communities through the NYSC combating EVD programme,” he said.

In his address, the Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna, said the enthusiasm, hard work demonstrated by the corps members represented a new realm in the service. He said the award would spur them to be more patriotic and serve the nation well.

Earlier, the Director General of NYSC, Brigadier General Johnson Olawunmi, said the scheme instituted in 1974 was designed to rewardi corps members for exceptional performance during the one-year national service.

He said the new programme, NYSC Hope Alive Initiative, which was public private partnership (PPP) was to bring succour to corps members who became disabled during their service.

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