The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Director General, Maj. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has highlighted the immense contributions of Nigerian youth corps members to the enhancement of election credibility in the country.
The Maj. Gen. Ibrahim stated this at the signing of the review of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.
According to both bodies, the MoU is for a more robust welfare package and enhanced security for youth corps members and NYSC officials during elections.
The Director General, while commending NYSC members for their conduct while serving as election duty staff, said they were always willing and ready to put in their best in service to the country.
Gen. Ibrahim said “I was in Anambra for five days, youth corps members were scared but I stayed with them and I moved around the local governments and this boosted their confidence, they did their best, no injury or any problem was recorded.
“So, I want to urge INEC to continue to sustain this relationship with NYSC.
“We pray that subsequent elections are going to be hitch-free and nothing will harm the process.”
On his part, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said Nigeria was really fortunate to have the NYSC scheme as he could not imagine the conduct of credible elections without it.
Yakubu said youth corps members were among the most educated, most committed, most patriotic and most readily available election duty staff in the country.
He added that “we are really happy that we have been collaborating with NYSC, they go to every nook and cranny of the country without complaint.
“The MoU that we are signing today is not the first one, it is the review of previous memoranda.
“It has identified 11 obligations on the part of INEC and 10 obligations on the part of the NYSC.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to emphasise the security and welfare of youth corps members on election duty.”
According to the INEC boss, the MoU provides for a periodic review whenever the need arises.
He added that the commission was willing to review aspects of the MoU at any time to attain the two objectives of ensuring the security and welfare of youth corps members.
“The MoU is governed by the laws of the federation and to show our commitment and seriousness to particularly the security and welfare of youth corps members.
“It provides insurance cover for ad hoc staff under the INEC personnel electoral hazard policy for the period of engagement.
“This covers injury, permanent disability, loss of life or property or any person declared missing in the course of carrying out the commission’s assigned duties.”
He, however, said that the appropriate section of the public service rules would apply to the NYSC staff employees who were public officers serving in Nigeria.
Yakubu have assurance that the commission would continue to do what was necessary to ensure that it protects the safety, security and welfare of NYSC members.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to take our obligations in the MoU very seriously and once again thank you for standing by Nigeria, the electoral process, credible elections and our democracy.”