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The federal government has offered automatic employment to 168 outstanding members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who served in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

President Muhammadu Buhari made the offer on Friday during the NYSC award dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, he said the reward was to encourage excellence among the youth.

Established in 1973 by the military government of General Yakubu Gowon, the president described NYSC, “as an indisputable national heritage,” which he said has contributed to ‘‘national integration and cohesion.”

“In line with our policy of encouraging and rewarding excellence among our youth, I hereby announce the immediate employment into the Federal Civil Service of all the award winners and beneficiaries of the NYSC Hope Alive Programme. In addition, the Federal Government hereby offers each of you automatic scholarship up to Doctorate level in any Nigerian university of your choice.

“The NYSC has from the beginning been about opportunities: opportunities for young Nigerians to serve, to earn a living, to travel, to see and learn about Nigeria beyond our comfort zones, and to build lifelong friendships.

“The important roles that young people, especially members of the NYSC played in ensuring the peaceful conduct of the 2015 and 2019 general elections offer clear evidence that when positively engaged in nation-building, our country stands to gain tremendously,” he said.

He urged states and local governments to give more support to the NYSC to enable it discharge its statutory obligations through the provision and upgrade of permanent orientation camps, lodges for corps members and other welfare facilities.

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