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We are dying – Corps members tell FG, say N19,800 is not enough to keep them alive in Nigeria

By Blessing Akujobi

As the economic recession takes its toll on Nigerians, serving National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) members have let out a  cry of distress against what they described as “poor pay packet” which they receive monthly from the Federal Government.
They have, therefore, asked for an increase in their remuneration which, they said,  was no longer enough for their up keep in the light of the recession.
At present, corps members’ monthly allowance is N19, 800 after it was reviewed upwards from N9,000 in 2014 during the administration of the former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Some of the corps members who spoke to Christian Voice said that the government should consider that they serve in far places always from their homes and so it is difficult to reach their parents for help.
“We are just managing the pay. It is never enough and at times it is withheld”, one of them serving in Ekiti State, who gave her name  simply as Deborah said.
According to them the money was mostly spent on transportation to Community Development Service (CDS) points and for registration exercises.
Emmanuel, who also spoke lamented the lack of accommodation, inability to feed properly, poor supervision from the government and most especially the non-availability of good medical services in the rural areas where they are posted to for their primary assignment.
The corps members, therefore, called on the Federal Government to come to their aid, stressing that these excruciating circumstances had claimed the lives of many of their colleagues who were unable to pay for medical services when they needed them most.
An upward adjustment to their pay packet, they said, would go a long way to help them overcome the difficulties.
They advised the government to consider their welfare, increase their emolument, provide adequate accommodation for them at their PPAs, and guarantee adequate medicare as it was as in the earlier years of the scheme.
As the leaders of tomorrow, the youths, Miss Bose said,  should be treated fairly and being paramilitary as well as part of the workforce, the youth corps members deserve better treatment.

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