This study was carried out on a critical analysis of the national youth service corps programme and its effect on national integration. Specifically, the study examined corp members in Lagos state, Nigeria. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 230 responses were validated from the survey. The study adopted the social communication theory. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings from the tested hypothesis that was carried out using Chi-Square, revealed that the NYSC programme has helped in fostering national integration and as well serve as a platform to preach peace in Nigeria. The study recommend that government and NYSC officials should put measures in place to curb the high rate of insecurity in some part of the country so as to relieve corp members the fear of serving in any state they are posted to.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Development is at the center of government planning and activities. However, development cannot flourish especially in heterogeneous countries if there is no peace or national integration. In Nigeria, the need for unity and control of all centrifugal forces immediately after the civil war led to the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) through Decree No. 24 of May 22, 1973. Instrument for national reconstruction, reconciliation and reconstruction after the thirtieth month of the civil war in Nigeria (Adedayo, 2010). The unfortunate history of the nation’s history required the creation of the NYSC, which clearly showed that the system had been established “with the objective of encouraging and developing in an appropriate manner the common ties between the world’s youth. Nigeria and promoting national unity “(NYSC). , 2017). The heterogeneity of Nigeria and the events that preceded the establishment of the NYSC triggered an avalanche of arguments for and against the persistence of the regime (Asuka and Igwesi, 2012). With a large number of ethnic, religious and political crises that currently invade the country, reservations have been expressed about the effectiveness of the NYSC to facilitate integration as expected as provided in the decree and the law.
NYSC remained in the headlines of national newspapers in Nigeria. The northern part of Nigeria gradually descended to structural anarchy due to Boko Haram and subsequent terrorist uprisings; while militancy and kidnappings dominate in the south (Amuta, 2012). The question was raised as to whether the NYSC could operate in these areas of undeclared and unsolicited wars.
Instructively, most Nigerians doubt and even oppose young graduates deploying in these increasingly dangerous places for the NYSC program for a variety of reasons. However, analysts attach great importance to the fact that Youth Corps members have become guinea pigs, while the NYSC program has unfortunately become a true barometer to measure the degree of security in different parts of the country. If the members of the body successfully complete their year of service in their country of origin, the nation is at peace.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Almost 40 years after its creation, protests caused by security problems threaten the existence of the NYSC system. Protests by members of the NYSC corps stationed in such states, who feared for their lives due to the insurgency of Boko Haram, kidnappings and violence raised fears that the NYSC plan would have survived its relevance (Banji, 2012). Tension in the country continues to increase and several groups are mobilizing for restructuring. Nysc has sent young graduates to different parts of the country for a mandatory one-year service. This project would consider the graduates themselves entering their year of service as we seek their knowledge about the National Youth Services Corps program and its impact on national integration
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the impact of NYSC programme and its effect on national integration.
The specific objectives are;
- To have an overview of the of NYSC programme
- To determine the challenges being faced by the programme and implications for national integration.
- To examining if the NYSC programme has helped in fostering national integration.
- It also seeks to ascertain if the NYSC programme serves as a platform to preach peace in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Hi: The NYSC programme has helped in fostering national integration.
Ho: The NYSC programme has not helped in fostering national integration.
Hi: The NYSC programme serves as a platform to preach peace in Nigeria.
Ho: The NYSC programme does not serve as a platform to preach peace in Nigeria.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The ability of the state to resolve or regulate the recurring crises and to create an enabling environment where the people’s respect and love for their nation is enhanced would definitely affect the tempo of the national integration positively. National integration a process, leading to political cohesion and sentiments of loyalty toward a central political authority and institutions by individuals belonging to different social groups or political units is an issue of great delight and importance in Nigeria. This study would be useful to government agencies, private individuals and researchers.
1.6 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is the critical analysis of the national youth service corps programme and its effects on National integration.
The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following:
- a) Availability of Research Material:The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) Time:The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
National Integration: National integration is the awareness of a common identity amongst the citizens of a country. It means that though citizens belong to different castes, religions, regions and speak different languages, they still recognize themselves as one. This kind of integration is very important in the building of a strong and prosperous nation. National integration can also be seen as the process whereby several desperate groups within a given territorial are united together or cooperate under conditions which do not appear to permit satisfaction of their system needs in any other way.
NYSC: the NYSC is the national youth service corps, a mandatory one year service to the country after graduating from the university formed in by General Yakubu Gowon after the civil war to enhance National integration and healing in the country.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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