4th July, 2012
Nigeria’s central government, led by President Goodluck Jonathan said on Wednesday in Abuja that it will do everything necessary to safeguard the lives of Corps members, regardless of the part of the country they may be posted to for the one year service.
Labaran Maku, Nigeria’s minister of Information said this when responding to questions from journalists on the agitations and anxieties by Corps members posted to do the one year service at the States where Boko Haram have been very active, mostly in the Northern part of the country.
Hundreds of the Batch B 2012 Corps who were supposed to have reported to camp in the troubled states since last Monday had laid siege to the Abuja headquarters of the National Youth Service Corps in the past few days asking for redeployment. Some Corps members have been killed during riots in some States of the North in the past three years.
Ten Corps members were killed in Bauchi during the riots that followed the April 2011 presidential elections.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a motion asking the authorities of NYSC not to post Corps members to the troubled states. The Lagos state House of Assembly also wrote a letter to the Director General of the corps scheme, seeking alternative postings for graduates of the state and the South West in general.
The states corps members dread are Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Bauchi, Borno and Gombe, where vioelnec by Boko Haram members had killed over 1200 people.
“What we will do as a government is to continue to ensure that in the face of this security challenges, our corps members where ever they are posted to, are secured and are able to render their services to the nation and return back safely at the end of their service. I can assure you that the government would look into all issues relating to the security and safety of all corps members that are going to serve the country now and in the future,” Maku said.
He added that the Federal Ministry of Youth Development is already taking concrete actions on the safety of the Corps members told journalists.
The Minister of Information also said that the Nigerian and the Ghanaian governments are addressing issues related to the problems Nigerian traders are currently having doing business in Ghana. According to him, the two West African countries have enjoyed excellent relations over the years and it is on this basis that the problem will be tackled.
“Ghana is one of our famous business partners in the West African sub-region. In ECOWAS we share common values, we share common vision for this sub-continent and Ghana had always supported Nigeria on all major issues within and outside Africa and we also always stand by Ghana.
Maku added that the Nigerian government has already made presentation to the Ghanaian authority based on ECOWAS Trade protocols and other international conventions.
He added that Ghanaian authorities are already considering the suspension of the demand of $300,000 as minimum capital base for engaging in any form of business in their country which is at the root of the problem facing Nigerian traders. The Minister however said the problem is not yet over.
According to him, government will continue to work to ensure that Nigerian citizens are able to do business in any part of West Africa.