The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has called on the federal government to increase its feeding allowance for corps members.
According to findings, Shuaibu Ibrahim, NYSC’s director-general (DG), spoke when he appeared before a house of representatives committee on youth development on Wednesday.
Ibrahim said the extant N650 daily feeding allowance for corps members is “grossly inadequate,” adding that with the arrangement, they only get a meal worth N216.
The NYSC DG called on the committee to raise the scheme’s feeding allocation in the 2022 budget.
Ibrahim argued that the scheme’s budget can’t remain the same when inmates in facilities of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) get N1,000 daily feeding allowance.
In October, the senate committee on interior had increased the daily feeding allowance of inmates from N450 to N1,000 daily per person.
According to Ibrahim, Nigeria cannot afford to prioritise feeding of “criminals” over corps members who are “putting their lives in service for the country.”
“The only thing that I will tell you here is that sometimes last year, I promised the committee at the NYSC, we are putting on our thinking cap, that I don’t want us to always go cap in hand begging for funds so that, at least, we should do something to bring revenue to the table,” he said.
“This I did last year and we generated over N280m which we paid into the Federation Account.
“Our challenge is in the area of feeding. The budgetary approval for feeding per corps member is N650, which is grossly inadequate. By the time you divide it by three meals (per day), that is N216 per meal. So, we are appealing to this committee to please help us out.
“Even recently, at the Ministry of Interior, the feeding of prisoners was increased to N1,000. So, if we can feed criminals with N1,000, our graduates are putting their lives in the service of our country. I pray that this committee should please do something about it.”