The Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the engagement of Corps members for electoral tasks on Tuesday.
News Agency of Nigeria
According to the commission’s daily bulletin, the MoU was signed by INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and NYSC Director-General Maj.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim.
According to the bulletin, Yakubu stated that this was not the first time this had happened, but rather a review of the existing agreement between the two organisations.
“It has identified 11 obligations on the part of INEC and 10 obligations on the part of the NYSC,” Yakubu said while signing the MoU at INEC headquarters.
“I want to assure you D-G that we will continue to emphasise the security and welfare of Corps members on election duty. I know that the MoU provides for a periodic review after every four years but this is a regular periodic review.
“Whenever the need arises, the Commission is always willing to review aspects of the memorandum at anytime in order to attain to these two objectives of ensuring the security and welfare of the Corps members,” he said.
Yakubu said that the “MoU is governed by the laws of Nigeria and it shows INEC commitments and seriousness particularly to security and welfare of the Corps members.”
He stated that the MoU would give insurance coverage for all ad hoc staff for the duration of their employment under the INEC personnel hazard policy.
“This covers injury, permanent disability, loss of life and property or any person declared missing in the cause of carrying out the Commission’s assigned duties,
“This is why appropriate sections of the public service rules will apply to the NYSC staff, as well as other employees who are public servants serving in the federation of Nigeria”.
Yakubu praised the selflessness, dedication, and commitment of NYSC scheme members to the successful conduct of elections in the country, saying, “Nigeria is Fortunate to have the NYSC.”
The INEC Chairman referred to the NYSC members’ contributions to the electoral process as “indispensible.”
“The NYSC, youth Corps members are among the most educated, most committed, most patriotic and most readily available election duty staff in Nigeria.
“We are really happy that we have been collaborating with the NYSC. They go to all the nooks and crannies of the country without complain”.
Yakubu also pledged that INEC will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of corps members.
“I want to assure you that we take our obligations in the MoU very seriously and I want to once again thank you for standing by Nigeria, for standing by the electoral process, and for standing by our democracy”.
The DG of NYSC, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim, for his part, praised INEC for the long-standing cordial partnership between the two organisations, stating that Corps members make a significant contribution to increasing the credibility of elections in Nigeria.
The DG agreed with the INEC Chairman on the success of the Anambra governorship election.
“I was in Anambra for five days, Corps members were scared and I told them there was no cause to fear.
“I moved round the local governments, Polling Unit by Polling Unit and this engendered their confidence in the electoral process and they did their best. There was no injury, nothing happened to any of my Corps members”.
Ibrahim encouraged INEC to keep the connection with the NYSC going, assuring that the Youth Corps members are still committed to serving the country and assisting to the conduct of credible elections.
“I want to urge INEC to continue to sustain this relationship with NYSC.
“I can assure you that Corps members are willing, they’re very patriotic and they are ready to put in their best to the service of the country”.
According to an INEC bulletin, the signing of the MoU was witnessed by all 12 National Commissioners, the Secretary to the Commission, Mr Rose Anthony-Oriaran, the Director General of the Electoral Institute, Dr Saád Idris, Directors, and other Commission Management employees.
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