By Temitope Salami
Sagamu (Ogun) – Still mourning the loss of the nine corps members who drowned recently in a river in Taraba, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has urged corps members to be safety conscious.
Alhaji Abdulrazak Salawu, the NYSC Director of Human Resource Management, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Sagamu, Ogun, that corps members’ safety had become more pertinent following the tragedy.
Salawu, who represented the NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, spoke on the sidelines of his visit to the Permanent Orientation Camp in Sagamu.
Describing the drowning incident as unfortunate, Salawu urged corps members to inquire from their supervisors and local communities on apparent dangers before embarking on expeditions.
“We pray that we will not have such natural calamities again.
“It is quite unfortunate how we lost them but it is a natural calamity that no one can do anything about.
“I’m sure the corps members won’t have made that sojourn had they had a pre-knowledge of what would happen.
“There’s nothing much we want to do to prevent natural calamities because what we are supposed to do, we are already doing.
“We have always been sensitising them on how to behave and we don’t allow them to do things that will jeopardise their lives.
“We will only intensify our efforts to educate them to always inquire from their supervisors and communities the risks involved before going on such expeditions.
“We pray for the parents of those who lost their lives that God in His mercies will give them the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.
He also dispelled rumours on the increment of corps members’ allowances saying there would be an official announcement from government and the NYSC when approved.
An increment, he said, would follow the implementation of a new minimum wage structure being reviewed by the Federal Government.
Speaking on the capturing of corps members under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the NYSC boss reiterated that the agency was still working to ensure the agitation bore fruit.
He, however, said healthcare delivery to corps members was presently at the optimum through various incentives put in place to cater for their health at the barest minimum cost.
He commended the Ogun government for the effort put in place to ensure comfort for both corps members and staff.
Speaking earlier, the NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs Josephine Bakare urged corps members undergoing orientation programme to abide by the rules when posted to their places of primary assignment.
“You must integrate well with your host communities and not interfere in what does not concern you or question their norms.
“You must continue to foster unity and ethnic tolerance while contributing your quota to the development of your communities and the state in general,” Bakare said.
She warned the corps members against attending illegal night parties or social events adding that their safety should always be of paramount importance.
Bakare said a total of 2, 411 Batch ‘B’ Stream 1 corps members, comprising; 1, 258 males and 1, 153 females, registered for the orientation course which began on July 24.