Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says all camps where the National Youth Service Corps orientation exercises are usually undertaken should be closed for two years because of the COVID-19 protocol which demands social distancing.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said this in a series of tweets on Tuesday while reacting to the controversy generated by the Economic Sustainability Committee report.
The tweets read in part, “Contrary to reports circulating in the mainstream media, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo did not call for the suspension of the National Youth Service Corps.
“It’s the paramilitary orientation camping that is being considered to be suspended for at least 24 months, not deployment to primary assignment i.e. the longer part of NYSC programme would not be affected in case this idea is okayed.
“The Economic Sustainability Committee in its report submitted by Osinbajo last week, recommended the direct mobilisation of prospective corps members to their places of primary assignment.”
He said the suspension of the camping exercise was recommended to maintain social distancing as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The plan partly read, “The immediate focus in the education sector is to address the disruptions caused by the pandemic and ensuing (sic) social distancing measures at all levels of education. Practical steps will be taken to minimise disruption to learning, utilising technology as appropriate.
“Specifically, virtual learning will be implemented (either online or through broadcast), virtual convocation ceremonies or issuance of certificates (with postponed ceremonies) should be implemented to continue educational progression.
“In similar context, consideration will be given to suspending the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp exercises for at least 24 months while allowing deployments to places of primary assignment. This will ensure that there is no backlog in the national service placement pipeline.”