By Chimezie Anaso, Nigeria News Agency
This promise, though exciting, is not new as it had been part of the government’s speech during swearing-in ceremonies and closing of orientation course at the Umunya Temporary Orientation Camp, Oyi council area for some years.
The temporary camp which the NYSC has been using for camp activities is in a school owned by Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Diocese on the Niger.
Speaking at the official opening of orientation course for no fewer than 1,602 Batch B stream II corps members, Mr Kehinde Aremu, Coordinator of NYSC in Anambra, said the temporary camp was no longer conducive for the purpose.
Aremu said the Anglican Church had commenced works for its University Project which it got approval for at the camp, noting that that the project had sacked them from the open field used as parade ground.
The coordinator said apart from disrupting the academic calendar of the mission school due to intermittent camp activities, the temporary site is highly inconvenient and expensive to run.
He regretted that in spite of the robust collaboration between the scheme and the state government, the state remained the only state in the entire South-East without a permanent orientation camp at the moment.
“The owners are now building the their university which they got approval for here, you can see that we no longer have parade ground, I had to appeal to them to allow us have this space for this orientation course.
“So, construction activities is a quit notice to us, we have to move the permanent site if we hope to have mobilisation to Anambra for camping, this temporary site is no more available to us,” he said.
Aremu hailed the progress of work at the permanent site which he rated at 75 per cent completion and called for early delivery of the project so that activities would commence there.
He said he had secured the approval of the scheme to site NYSC scheme skill acquisition centre, a joint project of the scheme and a commercial bank in the state, adding work could not begin unless the permanent camp becomes functional.
Aremu said what was left was the finishing aspects of the job including convenience, landscaping and other internal fittings.
“As you can see, the major part of the job had been done, the male and female hostel, the hall and office blocks but some critical facilities like the toilet are still ongoing.
“The completion of this permanent camp will be of immense benefit to the state and the scheme, it will help the commencement of the NYSC skill centre for South-East which the state government has provided land for.
“It is my humble and passionate appeal to Gov. Obiano to make good his promise to deliver the new site as he has always done because this place does not befit his status as the most NYSC friendly governor that I know in Nigeria.
“He has been very supportive, the government pays one of the highest allowance to corps members and we have a robust relationship.
“Indeed it has been a long walk to permanent site but I hope we will get there soon,” Aremu said.
Mr Hafford Oseke, a former member of the Anambra House of Assembly, at a different occasion went down memory lane on how the journey to the NYSC permanent camp began in 2014.
Osseke said it would be a dream come true for the NYSC to move into the permanent orientation camp.
He, however, expressed worry over the implementation of job at the site, urging the management of NYSC to monitor the project closely and ensure that it conformed with the original prototype as approved by the government.
He said: “We made available about 48.5 Acres of land for that permanent camp project, but they are concentrating everything in one area, and I am sure that is not what is contained in the prototype of that project.
“I call on the NYSC to monitor the project closely and ensure it is executed according to specifications.
“There is vast land begging to be used, I do not know why the male and female hostels are clustered in one area.
“The contractor should be made to do the right thing and it is not late to do so,” he said.
A visit to the permanent camp reveals that works had reached advanced stage, with two gigantic hostels, multipurpose hall and an administrative block have been completed with roofs, doors and windows fitted.
The perimeter fence has also been erected around the large expanse of land.
Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Umuawulu community one of the host community, Igwe Joel Egwuonwu, has pledged that his community would play good hosts to the NYSC when they eventually commence activities at the camp.
Opinions are that there is need to go beyond mere rhetorics and ensure the funds for the project are released and the contractor made to adhere to project specification and deliver on time. (Features)