Worried over the death of three members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the Senate, on Thursday, called for the complete overhaul of the scheme.
The corpers, Ifedolapo Amoke Oladepo died in Kano NYSC Orientation Camp, Elechi Chiyerom died in Bayelsa State Orientation Camp and Ukeme Asuquo died in Zamfara State Orientation Camp,
In a motion moved by the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, the Senate called for the total overhaul of NYSC scheme, adding that the state of orientation camps across the country was unfit for human habitation.
The Senate called on the Federal Government to improve on medical facilities in all our NYSC Orientation Camps across Nigeria and to deploy to these medical centers experienced medical personnels.
It also mandate its Committee on Sports and Youth Development to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the three corps members in order to guide against future occurrences.
Senator Adeyeye in his motion, had argued: “ The death of corps members are becoming a recurrent decimal in almost all NYSC Camps across the country. Experienced Medical personnel’s are practically non-existent in all our Orientation Camps across the country as fresh doctors who have not garnered any experience are the ones administering treatments to the corps members.
“Medical facilities at most Orientation Camps leave a lot to be desired as one of the deceased, Ifedolapo called home five hours to her death and told her older sister, Mrs. Oyeyode Abimbola (a nurse) to start coming to her Kano Orientation Camp, alleging poor care at the NYSC camp.
“An Orientation Camp that houses over three thousand corps members cannot boast of modern facilities to cater for the needs of corps members while undergoing the mandatory Orientation Programme.
“NYSC officials are not up and doing in their official duties as they expose these corps members to all manner of dangers. I strongly believe that NYSC needs total overhauling particularly its healthcare system.”
In his contribution, Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, noted: “This is a sad moment for us. What I have heard confirms what I thought was in the realm of speculations. It may not have been intentional, but I think it was an act of irresponsibility. How will not provide medical attention to a sick person? We look forward to the outcome of the investigation.
“An example should be set. To say the least, this is a barbaric act. That calls for a rethink about the NYSC Act. Is it really worth it to go and die in an orientation camp? Politicians use these same corps members to rig elections and we do not value their lives.”
Adamawa-born Senator Binta Garba also supported the call: “It is time to look and overhaul the NYSC as an agency of government. We need to think if NYSC is still needed in this country. If someone says he or she is sick, why won’t they attend to the person? From what we have seen, we need to overhaul the NYSC. We need to look into the activities of NYSC.”
President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, in his final remarks, said: “We need to address the issue of health services in orientation camps. This is an issue we should capture in the 2017 budget.”
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