The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has said no fewer than 400,000 graduates participate in the scheme annually.
The NYSC Area Director, North-East Zone, Mr. Ahidjo Yahaya, stated this while speaking with journalists on the sidelines of a Unity Walk, as part of its Golden Jubilee celebration on Monday in Bauchi.
He said the scheme has done well in the area of national integration, promoting affiliation and collaboration among government’s agencies to make the country a better place.
“Within these 50 years, I want to inform all Nigerians that we have done well and we will continue to do very well for the development of Nigeria.
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“When the scheme was started in 1973, the corps members were not more than 1,000 in a year.
“Today, we produce up to 400,000 in a year as against 1,000 when the scheme started and you can see the development.
“At inception, our only mandate was national integration. We were mandated to integrate corps members together. But today, we have a lot of programmes aside national integration,” he said.
According to him, the scheme is participating in the electoral processes which made the processes successful.
He said the scheme also introduced skills acquisition programmes designed to expose corps members to various trades and encourage entrepreneurship development to enable them to become be self-reliant.
The scheme, he said, expanded the scope of Community Development Service (CDS) programme, which enabled Nigerians, especially rural dwellers, to benefit from its health outreach.
Also commenting, a corp member, Mr Opeyemi Bakare, lauded the scheme for bringing people of different culture, religion, languages and ways of life together and uniting them.