Nnamdi Okore-Affia, former director of the National Youth Service Corps hands over the leadership of the paramilitary organisation to the Johnson Olawumi, its new boss
| By Vincent Nzemeke | Jan. 20, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
MONDAY, January 6, was a memorable day in the life of the management and staff of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. It was a day Nnamdi Okore-Affa, the outgoing director general of the NYSC, handed over the mantle of leadershp of the paramilitary organisation to his successor, Johnson Olawumi, former principal staff officer to Azubuike Ihejirika, chief of army staff. It was also a day he took time to review his performance after holding the office for more than two years.
At the low key handing over ceremony, which held at the NYSC headquarters in Abuja, Okore-Affia noted that NYSC has grown from being a small programme which started in 1973 to become an organisation that touches most Nigerians. He said even though the scheme was originally established to promote unity amongst youths from various parts of the country, it has brought about developments in other areas too. He recalled with nostalgia some of his achievements in office, saying that his administration was able to successfully implement the approved expanded administrative structure of the NYSC.
Under Okore-Affia’s reign, the NYSC introduced entrepreneurial development programmes for serving corps members. The initiative encourages corps members to ventures into business and other areas rather than seeking for white collar jobs. “This indeed has revolutionised the service year experience of corps members as they are now exposed to entrepreneurial development and other post service year life enhancing initiatives. In addition, the restructuring repositioned the scheme to adequately cope with the dynamics of mobilisation and utilisation of corps manpower for national development,’’ he said.
He also recalled how his administration prioritised the security of corps members serving in volatile parts of the country through the provision of distress call centres. “This avails all corps members the opportunity of seeking for help whenever they are confronted with security challenges,’’ he said.
Another achievement recorded during his tenure was the preparation of a composite policy document, which streamlined all the policies of the scheme into a single document to ensure smooth, more effective and efficient operation of the scheme. ”The comprehensive review of the scheme and conditions of service of the NYSC scheme has been completed and forwarded to the relevant quarters for ratification to pave way for its adoption,” he said.
According to him, the e-registration of Nigerian foreign trained graduates made it possible for them to upload the required academic and other relevant documents from any part of the world.
Responding, Olawumi, promised to sustain the legacy left by Okore-Affia. He promised that his administration would be fair, open and ensure equity in other to take the scheme to greater heights. Olawunmi also appealed to the staff of the organisation to cooperate with him the way they did with Okore-Affia, adding: “I will fight for your entitlements, for the high regard I have for you.”