‘We can’t say for sure,’ Youth Minister speaks on raising corps members’ allowance

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The Minister of Youth Development, Jamila Bio-Ibrahim, says it is not certain that the Federal Government will increase the monthly allowance of serving members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Bio-Ibrahim, who appeared on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme, stated that the government would develop innovative measures to ensure the welfare of corps members.

In January 2020, the government increased the allowance for corps members from N19,000 to N33,000, over a year after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new minimum wage bill into law in April 2019.

With food inflation and increasing cost of living over the years, there have been calls by youths serving in the NYSC scheme that the government raise their monthly allowance colloquially called, Alawee, even as the President Bola Tinubu administration inaugurated a minimum wage committee last Tuesday.

Asked whether or not there are immediate plans to increase the monthly allowance of corps members on Sunday, the minister said, “We can’t say for sure, we all understand that resources are dwindling, even oil revenues are not as they used to be but we will find innovative ways of ensuring that corps members’ welfare are well-taken of. ”

Bio-Ibrahim further said, “When it comes to remuneration and looking totally at the holistic funding of the NYSC, we have announced a reform of the NYSC scheme itself. So, we want the scheme to go beyond that social programme of government to be that revenue-generating scheme and agency.

“The reforms which transform the NYSC into a revenue-generating agency and prepare the corps members for the job market and to be decently and gainfully employed or to be employers of labour through entrepreneurship and of course, perfect matching into primary assignment and all the support they need in that career path.”

The minister also said as an immediate measure, the NYSC has stopped posting corps members to unsafe states. She said the matter was a multi-sectoral approach and the NYSC has been working with security agencies for the safety of corps members in the country.