Banky W, the Nigerian singer, has called on the federal government to make the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) optional for graduates.
In an interview with Channels TV, the 41-year-old politician argued that there are several graduates undergoing the scheme who are not interested in it.
Banky W said if made optional, government would be able to save resources when graduates who are not interested withdraw from the programme.
According to him, such resources can be used to facilitate innovation and equip youths with the skillset needed to thrive in the 21st century.
“At least half of the young people who do NYSC might not need it. You have people that go for NYSC and they just sign a paper somewhere and give somebody money, so that they say they have it and then go off and do whatever,” he said.
“Is that programme really achieving what it was meant to? Or can we consider doing it differently. Can we consider amending the constitution so that we can say that this thing is no longer compulsory, it is optional?”
“When you do that, the people who don’t need it would not do it, so you already saved resources. You can use that resources to give youths the skillset that is useful in this century we’re in and not just say ‘we have always done it like this. Come, stand, march, smile take selfie and then you have served your country’. It’s not true.”
With his remark, the ‘Strong Thing’ crooner joins those advocating for the reform of the scheme which was established in 1973.
Last year, the House of Representatives had considered a bill seeking to scrap the scheme.
But Shuaibu Ibrahim, NYSC director-general, dismissed arguments that the scheme should be scrapped.
Ibrahim said the NYSC is crucial in the course of building a united country.
Banky W recently declared his interest to represent Eti-Osa federal constituency at the House of Representatives in 2023 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In 2019, he had contested the same position under the Modern Democratic Party (MDP) but lost to Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the polls.