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General News of Thursday, 25 November 2021

Source: www.mynigeria.com

NYSC members groan over biting economy, useless 'allowee

Members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)

Members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, in the Federal Capital Territory have lamented the difficulty associated with serving in Abuja, saying the high cost of living in the nation’s capital is beyond their monthly stipends.

This is coming as prices of food items and other essential commodities continue to skyrocket in the FCT while the entire nation battles an economic crisis that has relatively made life difficult for commoners.

The recent inflation in the economy birthed a new wave of hardship for Nigerians, especially for residents of the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Residents say the inflation affected the prices of all commodities in the market including something as essential as drinking water packaged in small sachets for ordinary Nigerians.

The sachet water popularly known as pure water is now sold for N300 or N350 per bag of 50 pieces as against the initial N100, this is aside from the general hike in prices of food items such as rice, beans, yam and others.

Some corps members said the N33,000 monthly allowance paid by the Federal Government is no longer useful, lamenting that they now depend on parents and loved ones for survival.

It can be recalled that the Federal Government in 2019, increased the monthly stipend of NYSC members from N19,800 to N33,000 to correspond with the current national minimum wage.

But corps members in the FCT say the increment, which was implemented in January 2020, is no longer helpful, particularly in big cities as a result of the current economic reality of the country.

An official of the scheme who preferred not to be mentioned said NYSC has no power to review corps members’ allowance. According to him, until there is a new national minimum wage, the current N33,000 allowance stands.

Recall that the Senate Committee on Sports had on Tuesday called for an immediate increase in the daily feeding allowance of corps members.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Obinna Ogba (PDP-Ebonyi) had made the call in Abuja on Tuesday while submitting the 2022 budget defence report of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Ogba had expressed worry that corps members are paid N600 as their daily meal allowance despite their efforts in serving the nation.

He had decried the situation where the government pays inmates in correctional centres across the country N1,000 as daily feeding allowance but pay corps members who contribute to the nation’s economy only N600.

Ogba also condemned the decreasing yearly budgetary allocations to the ministry, calling for an increase of funds in the 2022 budget, given the importance of sports to youth development.

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