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Reps reject NYSC amendment bill

A Bill for an act to amend the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has suffered a setback on the floor of the house of Representatives.

The Bill seeks an upward review of remuneration, Optional participation, and ease of accepting exemption from service.

Moving for the second reading of the bill, its sponsor, Ben Ibakpa said many Nigerians have suffered “various forms of disadvantages” due to certain provisions in the present act.

According to Mr Ibakpa, Nigerians who studied abroad or those who want to opt out of the compulsory service should be granted their wishes.

But contributing to the debate, the Deputy House Speaker, Ahmed Wase, insisted that “whoever wants to get any federal government appointment must be made to undergo the compulsory service”. He called for the “protection of the law”, a position which seemed to receive the backing of many members of the House.

There were nevertheless some members who sided with Mr Ibakpa, arguing that the NYSC Act should be amended to reflect changing times.

After a heated session of debates, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila ruled that the motion be stepped down “until relevant amendments” were done.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade, Abdullahi Lamino and Tony Okerafor