The 2008 Batch C National Youth Service Corps members ended their one-year compulsory national service with passing-out parades (POP) held in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday.
In Lagos, the event was held at the parade ground at the Ikeja Cantonment. According to the state coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Ladipo Laniyan, this batch of corps members, who started their service on November 4, 2008 was made up of 1,399 when they were posted to the state. Some were redeployed to other states mostly for health reasons while more were redeployed to Lagos.
Mr. Laniyan said 2,013 corps member satisfactorily completed their service while seven are to be remobilised for abandoning their places of primary assignment.
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, was represented by the commissioner for Special Duties, Tola Kasali at the event. In his speech read by Mr. Kasali, the governor appreciated the contribution of the corps members to the development of the state.
“At the beginning of your service year 12 months ago, I drew your attention to the various challenges of national development. I am happy to note with interest that you have contributed your quota to nation-building. I wish to formally acknowledge your unparalleled individual and collective contributions to your host communities in the area of community development projects,” he said.
The occasion also featured presentation of awards to some outstanding corps members. Michael Olorunfemi, from Kogi State, a graduate of Human Kinetics, was awarded the best corps member in the batch. He won it for a beautification project he carried out at the Ikorodu Local Government Secretariat. He said he did it because he wanted to compliment the efforts of the state government.
After the match past, some of the corps members danced, as the corps band, made up of those still serving, played different tunes while others took photographs and congratulated one another.
However, in spite of the excitement, most of the corps members expressed fears. Some of them that spoke to NEXT expressed uncertainty about their future.
Felicia Oboma, a graduate of Biochemistry said she is really scared because of the level of unemployment. “We are going to join the labour market like millions of other graduates. It is not funny. The situation is really bad. One is passing out, you don’t know what will come next. Our country is really in a bad time. I’ve started applying in different places hoping that I will be lucky,” Ms. Oboma said.
Kayode Mosaku, a graduate of Botany from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, said he has left the future to chance.
“I will try all the options possible, throw my CV to everywhere possible and hope for a good response from somewhere. I have friends who have finished NYSC like two years ago and are still at home without jobs. So I think this NYSC programme is not working. If all the money that is used to run the programme is invested in us, maybe someone might be able to set up, since jobs are not available,” Mr. Mosaku said.