The Senate has urged the Federal government to increase the daily feeding allowance that is being paid to members of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), given the contribution of corps members to national development.
Speaking Tuesday in Abuja when he submitted the committee’s 2022 budget defence report of Ministry of Sports and Youth Development to Senate Committee on Appropriations, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Obinna Ogba, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ebonyi Central, said that it was worrisome that Corps members, who devote their talents, skills in the service of the nation for one year were been paid a mere N600 as daily meal allowance as against the payment of N1,000 daily meal allowance to prisoners by the Nigerian Correctional Service.
Senator Ogba who decried the decreasing yearly budgetary allocations to the ministry called for increased allocation of funds in its 2022 budget, given the importance of sports to youth development, said that adequate fund was required to drive sports development, which ultimately would drive the development of youths and the economy at large.
According to him, it was the responsibility of the government to provide enabling environment such as security, sports Infrastructure, like adequate stadia to attract investors and drive investment in the sports industry, adding, “Money is required for the development of sports in the country.”
Ogba who noted that it was important for seriousness to be paid to the development of the youths, however, decried that a paulty N5 billion which was budgeted in the ministries’ 2022 capital expenditure was grossly inadequate for sports development and mobilisation of the youths into sporting activities.
Also speaking, Senator Smart Adeyemi, APC, Kogi West who noted that there was an urgent need to increase funding to the ministry, adding that the committee has the ability to ensure improved allocation, stressed that investment in sports industry has the capacity to improve the economy, noting that sport was a big-time business in other nations.
Adeyemi who called for the provision of a “Special Fund “from the appropriation committee, said that sport would provide jobs for the unemployed youths and discourage social vices.
On his part, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Barau Jibrin, APC, Kano North who noted that there was need to have a “Master Plan” to drive sports development in the country, said that private sector investment was the trend in sports development across the world, adding that the Federal Government was investing much in youth development by earmarking fund in the budget for the development of youths via its various humanitarian programs.
In her contribution, Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Stella Oduah, APC-Anambra North who noted that the budget of the ministry did not appear to move towards the development of the youth, said that there was need to revert back to the planning stages of sports development, noting that the basics of youth development via sports must be put in place.