The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of prioritizing prisoners over serving corps members.
The lamentation came following the increase of daily feeding allowance of prison inmates from ₦450 to ₦1,000 daily per head.
NYSC Director-General, Shuaibu Ibrahim, while appearing before a House of Representatives committee on youth development on Wednesday, November 3, condemned in totality the approval of increment on the inmates feeding allowance by the senate committee.
Ibrahim said the extant ₦650 daily feeding allowance for corps members is “grossly inadequate,” adding that with the arrangement, they only get a meal worth ₦216.
The NYSC DG called on the committee to raise the scheme’s feeding allocation in the 2022 budget.
He further argued that the scheme’s budget can’t remain the same when inmates in facilities of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) get a ₦1,000 daily feeding allowance.
Ibrahim insists that corps members are risking their lives in serving the nations and are still not properly taken care of.
“The only thing that I will tell you here is that sometimes last year, I promised the committee at the NYSC, we are putting on our thinking cap, that I don’t want us to always go cap in hand begging for funds so that, at least, we should do something to bring revenue to the table,” he said.
The NYSC DG added: “This I did last year and we generated over N280m which we paid into the Federation Account.
“Our challenge is in the area of feeding. The budgetary approval for feeding per corps member is N650, which is grossly inadequate. By the time you divide it by three meals (per day), that is N216 per meal. So, we are appealing to this committee to please help us out.
“Even recently, at the Ministry of Interior, the feeding of prisoners was increased to N1,000. So, if we can feed criminals with N1,000, our graduates are putting their lives in the service of our country. I pray that this committee should please do something about it.”