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We‘re suffering, increase our allowance, NYSC members beg FG

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Almost a month after the national minimum wage was increased by N35,000, National Youth Service Corps members are expressing dissatisfaction and concerns over their exclusion from the award.

The Federal Government is yet to implement an increase in their N33,000 monthly allowance.

A serving corps member in Ogun State, who identified himself as Melekwe Anthony, said: “While the government should be commended for paying Corpers regularly and increasing the monthly allowance from N19,500 to 33,000 naira, I think that our government should do more given current hardship in the country as most of us are starving. to ensure serving our country.

“With the cost of foodstuff in the market, transportation, and other necessary expenses right now, excluding personal savings, Corpers should certainly be earning more than they do. We know how important it is to serve our country but posting graduates far away from home to serve on empty stomachs is certainly not encouraging.”

In the same vein another serving corps member in Rivers State, Aniete Essien, said: “The Federal Government is not treating us well. After the increment of minimum wage to N65,000, corpers all over Nigeria were very happy and we were expecting it to be reflected in our monthly allowance but now the Federal Government has failed us and we are not happy. My message to the Federal Government from my point of view and with what we are facing in the country, I’m pleading that they should look into this because corps members are suffering and it’s majorly due to the inflation in the country”

Gabriel, who is also a serving corps member in Rivers State said: “It was good news when President Bola Tinubu announced the increment of minimum wage, corpers were expecting that our allowance would be increased also.

“My message to the Federal Government is that they should say something and they should try to do what they say, that will help increase our trust in them”.

Another serving corps member in Lagos state (name withheld) pleaded with the Federal Government to “consider youth corpers. The Nigerian economy is becoming something else, the cost of foodstuff, transportation, and other amenities are on the high side. The N33,000 allowance is not sufficient to cover our expenses.”

On his part, Nnanna a corps member who has completed six months of his service year in Rivers State, said: “I’m very sad indeed, based on what I’m seeing, they are still paying N33,000 instead of increasing our allowance. Corpers here are going to their PPA (Place of Primary Assignment) almost every day, we are spending money on food and the government is not taking adequate care of us. The N33,000 allowance is not enough to provide our daily bread and it’s not encouraging at all. The Federal Government should help us increase our allowance. Some of us pay transportation fares to go to our PPAs and if you calculate it for a month it’s very close to the entire N33,000 allowance we are getting.”

Amos a serving corps member in Anambra State expressed his dissatisfaction by saying: “The N33,000 allowance is not sufficient, especially with the recent inflation. To fill a 6kg gas cylinder is N6000, cost of transportation, cost of foodstuffs everything is costly now, If the NYSC is that hard to maintain, then they should scrap it”.

Another concerned corper, Daniel said: “I think it’s very bad due to the situation we find ourselves in this country, the inflation has gone up and to be precise especially those of us in Rivers State, with the rate cost of things, have gone up, we are suffering. We are part of Federal Government workers. Since the minimum wage increment has been approved, I don’t see any reason other Federal Government workers will benefit from the increment and corpers should not, it’s very bad. There’s nothing we can do with the N33, O00 anymore, if you take the 33k into the market today, you can only get a few things and they know the situation that we are in. Please, the Federal Government should do the needful.”

Another serving corper in Rivers State, said: “I think maybe it’s negligence, they just forgot about corps members or something because the N33,000 allowance is not enough to sustain a corper for a month. it’s terrible, and the dollar keeps rising, prices of things keep rising. The Federal Government should do something about it. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.”

However, Mercy, another serving corper said reducing the cost of living will be more effective. “The solution is not increasing the allowance of corpers but rather to reduce the cost of living,” she said.

Education

University of Ibadan students protest fee hike

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Thousands of students at the University of Ibadan have protested against a hike in school fees and other issues.

As early as 8 a.m., the visibly angry students moved in large numbers to all the entrances of the institution and blocked them.

Both academic and non-academic staff were locked outside the gates.

After blocking all the entrances, they moved from one faculty to another to ensure that academic activities were totally paralysed.

The students who warned sternly that there should be no video recording of the protest explained that the school management has not been fair to them.

Some of them who spoke with Vanguard said three issues compelled them to troop out.

A male student said, “We are protesting against injustice and insensitivity of the state school authorities to our plight.”

“You can imagine the authorities saying they will be shedding power henceforth, which means there are days we will be in darkness. How do they expect us to study?”.

“Secondly, they have hiked school fees astronomically to an unimaginable proportion. Do they want us to abandon our studies? Our parents are saying there is no money. Even feeding is difficult and we are still trying to wriggle out of this they are bringing hike in tuition fees. We cannot take this any longer. Enough is enough”.

“The third issue is the victimization of some of our colleagues who protested last time. The police have arrested them and up to now, they are still being detained for saying no to injustice. They are hurting us and they don’t want us to complain.”

Three female students who are in science said the situation is worse for them as they have to pay through their noses.

One of them said when she gained admission, she paid around N78,000 but now she is asked to pay over N300,000; some are paying N200,000.

The event disrupted the early take-off of a programme scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Department of Economics, CBN Hall.

The students went to the premises and shut all the gates, while a few staff members who managed to trek from the gates scampered for safety.

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Education

Sanwo-Olu pledges N5bn to construct Lagos NYSC permanent site

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor, says he will approve N5 billion for the construction of a permanent orientation camp for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the state.

The governor addressed the Batch B Stream 1 corps members on Tuesday at the state’s current orientation camp in Iyana Ipaja.

He said the state would be setting aside N5 billion intended to commence the development of the permanent site.

While addressing the new corps members, Sanwo-Olu also pledged N100,000 each as a gift to the reported 4,254 members of the batch.

“It will be made available in your account. Your directors will credit you. Don’t worry. This is how we do in Lagos,” he told them.

The governor also promised automatic employment into the civil service for 100 corps members in the batch after their service year.

He admonished the corps members to live by discipline, perseverance, and teamwork during the three-week orientation course.

“Because we are a performance-driven government and we’re sensitive to what is expected of every one of you, I will be monitoring this particular batch. This particular batch is now my home,” he said.

“At the end of your time, I will pick the best 100 corps members out of this batch. They will get automatic employment in the neighbourhood state public service.”

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Education

Mercy Chinwo, husband offer scholarships to 100 UNICAL students

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Mercy Chinwo, the Nigerian gospel singer, and her husband Blessed Uzochikwa have offered full scholarships to 100 University of Calabar (UNICAL) students through the Mercyisblessed Foundation.

The couple announced the gesture before a crowd of students during their tour of the university on Friday, July 12, 2024.

In a statement, the lovebirds disclosed that the scholarship entails full payment of school fees and other compliments that foster stability in learning for indigent and bright students of the university.

“The criteria for selection and other modalities to shortlist eligible candidates would be communicated through appropriate channels. The scholarship is with immediate effect,” the statement reads.

The philanthropic gesture is not the first from Chinwo and Uzochikwa, a pastor, in 2024.

In April, the couple also awarded scholarships to 50 undergraduates at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) on behalf of their foundation and Charis, their son.

The ‘You Do This One’ hitmaker had revealed that the scholarship is a token of giveback to a society that raised her.

“Port Harcourt is home to me any day. The memories are fresh of a city where I dared to dream and hope for a purposeful life. I thank the Lord for His work in me and through me so far. The scholarship is to inspire students that their dreams and ambitions are valid and not to give up because there is a God who has ‘Excess Love’, ” she said.

The singer recently unveiled a 12-track album ‘Overwhelming Victory’, which she recorded while she was pregnant.

Chinwo is also credited for hit projects like ‘Elevated’, ‘Wonder’, and ‘Confidence’, among others.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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