- Posted August 16, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The Africa we don't see
NYSC: 2,000 PREGNANT MEMBERS ON CAMP …as state coordinators grumble.
No fewer than 2,000 female members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, currently in camp nationwide are either pregnant or nursing mothers. Investigations by Nigerian Pilot Saturday revealed that most of them who are married came to camp carrying pregnancies at various stages of maturity. Although authorities of some state directorates of NYSC refused to accept that there are female corps members who are pregnant, others did not only disclose the number of pregnant corps members and nursing mothers in camp, but said such corps members are being given preferential treatment. In most of the states where female corps members reported to camp, investigations revealed that they were either told to complete their registration formalities and go back home and wait for their postings, or given special accommodation for the duration of the camp. Out of about 250,000 corps members deployed nationwide, Lagos State has the highest number of females who are pregnant. An unconfirmed report disclosed that over 800 corps members from the over 5,000 deployed to the state were either pregnant or nursing mothers. “This is not alarming, it is normal that out of over 5,000 corps members who must have waited for a long time for call up letters, especially the married ones, only about 800 are pregnant,” an official of the Lagos State Directorate of NYSC who did not want his name in print responded to a question on the matter. He said that female corps members who were identified to be pregnant or nursing mothers were treated specially because of their condition and are not allowed under any circumstance to sleep in the camp or participate in rigorous exercises. In Niger State, our investigations revealed that over 200 of the female corps members deployed to the state are either pregnant or nursing mothers. Out of the over 2,500 corps members deployed to the state, Nigerian Pilot Saturday authoritatively gathered that 150 of them are pregnant while 50 others are nursing mothers. It was however discovered that most of the affected corps members were prevented from staying at the NYSC orientation camp located in Paiko, the headquarters of Paikoro Local Government Area of the state due to their delicate condition. A top management of the NYSC Directorate in the state, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said pregnancy test for female corps members is a continuous exercise throughout their stay in camp, a measure he explained was to protect the affected persons from being subjected to rigorous exercises that could be inimical to their well-being. Answering questions on the issue of pregnant corps members, he explained that pregnancy among the corps members was not against the rules of the service because according to him, “we are aware some of them are married.” In Ondo State, authorities of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC said it had relocated all pregnant and nursing corps members deployed to serve in the state for batch ‘B’ 2014 edition to ‘friendly’ environment to ensure the safety of mother and child. The state director of NYSC, Mr. Kuoye Isiaka, disclosed that no fewer than 50 members deployed to the state were pregnant, while 72 others are nursing mothers. He further disclosed that the secretariat had paid all required allowances and entitlement of the affected members to ensure that they did not lack any essential commodity. Mr. Isiaka, who also disclosed that the number for batch ‘B’ is 2,248, said it has been the practice of the state NYSC directorate take good care of corps members posted to the state charged them to see Ondo State as their second home. However, in Anambra State, investigations revealed that about 200 female corps members out of a total number of 2,180 members deployed to the state were either pregnant or nursing mothers but NYSC authorities said only 17 female members, who reported to camp were pregnant. In Kaduna State, authorities of the NYSC directorate refused to release the actually fig