The House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja passed for second reading a bill seeking an improved welfare package for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The bill seeks to amend the NYSC Act No 51 of 1993 by making provisions to enhance the welfare of corps members, encourage acquisition of special businesses and commercial skills at the end of the annual service year.
Moshood Mustapha (APC- Kwara), who sponsored the bill, expressed regrets over unemployment and poverty rate bedeviling the country.
He said that the proposed amendment would encourage self-employment.
Section 7(3) of the proposed amendment seeks to increase state governments annual subvention from N500,000 to N50 million, to enable NYSC to cater adequately for the welfare and skill acquisition needs of corp members.
It said that such minimum subvention shall be provided before the commencement of the service year for which it was intended.
Section 18 (2) also seeks to increase minimum accommodation allowance from N250 per month to N5,000 while transport allowance might be increased from N150 per month to N5,000.
The sponsor added that “the bill seeks to amend the NYSC Decree 51 of 1993 to provide for the training of corps members to acquire skills and business.
“It would enable them to seek other means of sustainable livelihood and fend for themselves other than the white collar jobs that are in acute shortage.”
The essence of the bill is to empower Nigerian graduates to be self-reliant through skill acquisition during the one year mandatory service after graduation from various tertiary institutions.
After the debate on the bill, the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, referred the bill to the Ad hoc Committee on the 1999 Constitution and House Committee on Youth Development for further legislative action.