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Pay increase good, but not enough – Corps members

Blessing Udonya

Feb. 16, 2020

The promise of pay rise, which President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law on April 18, 2019 (2019 Minimum Wage Bill), has yielded positive for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Their monthly allowance has grown from N19, 800, to N33, 000.
A few days before the windfall hit the corps members’ account, the Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier-General, Shuaibu Ibrahim, had assured them of the government’s plan to increase their allowances.
But like many civil servants, these serving corps members, who had anticipated that the increment would be reflected in their monthly allowance several months ago, took it with a pinch of salt.It was, therefore, the “sudden, unexpected actualisation” that spurred the excitement, which saw many of them taking to the social media and sundry platforms to celebrate.
But beyond the initial euphoria generated by the improved pay, divergent opinions have continued to trail the development. For instance, while some corps members serving in Lagos State showered encomiums on President Buhari for making this happen, others are not moved by the development as they say that the margin of increment was too meagre to make any marked difference, especially with the rising inflation in the country.
Oni Samuel: Increment Has Taken Away Some Stress I THANK the Federal Government for this laudable gesture, which will help in cushioning the effect of the harsh economic realities in the country. It will also bring about peace of mind and take away some of the stress that corps members are going through.
Onalaja Toyosi: Not Enough, But Better Than Previous Amount I FEEL that the N13, 200 added to the monthly allowance of NYSC members is not enough. I am saying so in the sense that at the end of the service year, no corps member would have been able to save enough to start up a personal business from his/her allowance. We all know the situation in our country, Nigeria, where it is very difficult to get an employment, much less a good one after the service year. The Federal Government has done a great job by increasing our allowance to N33, 000, but as I said earlier, the N13, 200 addition is not enough.
Mrs. Sarah Adebele: I’m Elated To Be A Beneficiary I’M so happy over the improved allowance, and I appreciate the Federal Government for making me, a member of the Batch C, Stream 2 to be part of the beneficiaries. I also appreciate the efforts of the Director-General of NYSC, Brig-General Shauibu Ibrahim. God bless him, and also the Federal Government.
Samuel Chinedu: It Won’t Make Much Difference WHAT the Federal Government has done by increasing our monthly allowance, I must say is nice. But as a person, I feel indifferent because we are in Lagos State, where there are lots of expenses to cover, and before you know what is happening, the increased transportation fare to and from our places of primary assignment will wipe away the little change that has been added. So, I generally believe that what has been added is simply not enough, even though the N19, 800 was worse for me. I know some people will appreciate the N33, 000, but it’s still not enough.
I’m not saying that the Federal Government has not tried its best; it has because some corps members need the money to help them keep body and soul intact, but it’s simply not enough. If the Federal Government adds to the N33, 000, it will be very good, but I know that such won’t happen till the next 10 years.
Princess Blessing: It’s Coming Late I AM a Batch B, Stream 1 corps member. I am in severe pain because I will not enjoy the improved allowance from the Federal Government for long. I am also disappointed because the increment is coming many months after the new Minimum Wage Bill was signed into law. This is also the reason that I am wondering why many corps members are jubilating when the amount added is just about N13, 200, which is not much. Without being sarcastic, I think it might take a very long time before the allowance would be further increased to the level where it would make sense.
Dalphine Oghoyone: Increased Allowance Will Ensure Financial Independence I DON’T have much to say than to really appreciate the Federal Government. At least, with the increase in our allowance, corps members will be a bit more financially independent, just as the increment will better our lives.
Kabirat Azeez: Increment Will Cushion Effect Of High Cost Of Transportation THE improved allowance will enable me to have a little saving. For those of us that are serving in Lagos State, transportation is a very big issue. For instance, I stay at Iyana Ipaja and my place of primary assignment is around Oshodi. Monthly, I spend more than N20, 000 on transportation alone, which was more than what I received as monthly allowance up till December. By the time I add the money that I spend on feeding to that of transportation, of course, that has to come from somewhere else, and not part of my allowance. But with the increment, I can now fund my transportation and still have something left. So, as a person, I can say that the increment is beneficial to me because I can afford some basic needs without any discomfort. But my major worry now is the increase in the prices of goods and services as a result of the equally new 7.5% VAT increase. This, of course, is going to hurt the economic value of the increment.
Idoreyin Hope Okon: It’s Not Enough, But Better Than Previous Amount WITH the increment, I have paid some of my bills with ease, and do far more than I used to do with the previous amount of N19, 800. Even though the N33, 000 is still not enough, but it’s still better than the previous amount.However, I would like the government to pay a few months arrears so that everyone will benefit, especially the Batch A 2019 corps members so that they will have something to start life with, as they will be passing out soon.
Juliana Noah Ojonugwa: It Will Mitigate Effect Of Inflation THE improved allowance will enable me to save a little amount of money monthly, and also enable me to pay some of my bills in a good time. Above all, it will give me the morale to serve my father’s land.
The increment will also help in reducing the effect of the rising rate of inflation in the country. So, it is beneficial to me, but not of substantial benefit. I would have enjoyed the increment more if the rate of inflation were not so high in the country, especially in Lagos State where transportation fares recently shot up. Finally, I would love the Federal Government to make a policy that corps members should not be paying transport fares while in NYSC uniform.
William Yarima Tabe: Our Standard Of Living Will Improve THE increment in allowance has put a smile on my face, and I believe on other corps members as well.This increment will also improve my standard of living, but the 7.5% VAT will affect us too because some of the services that we would be paying for are not VAT free. But I am of the opinion that it is better to have the increased allowance with the new 7.5 per cent VAT Personally, I think the increment will make a lot of sense if corps members enjoy subsidised transportation and accommodation during their service year.
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