The Bayelsa State coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Mrs Okpalifo Charity, has offered reasons why African countries, including Gambia and Sierra Leone, have visited Nigeria to study the NYSC programme.
According to her, NYSC has set the pace for other youth organisations in Africa.
Mrs Charity, who made this known at the award ceremony and dinner as part of the NYSC 50th anniversary ceremony held on Saturday at the Ernest Ikoli NUJ Press Centre in Yenagoa, expressed hope that the next 50 years will place the corps on the world map.
She thanked the invited guests for gracing the occasion and emphasised that the Gambia and Sierra Leone have come to study the NYSC programme for implementation in their respective nations.
She called for continued support, synergy, cooperation, and collaboration to enable the corps to deliver on its mandate.
The Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, NYSC State Governing Board, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services, Anthony Ichobo, congratulated the corps for its 50th anniversary and for marking the Golden Jubilee in grand style nationwide.
He also congratulated the award winners and enjoined all stakeholders to continue supporting the ideals, programmes and activities of the scheme.
In her remarks, Dame Ella Douglas, who was one of the first set of corps members to serve in 1973, said she was grateful to have witnessed the 50th anniversary of NYSC.
She recalled with nostalgia her service year and congratulated NYSC for its unprecedented feat.
The highlight of the event was the awards bestowed on the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, NYSC State Governing Board, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, and the Executive Assistant to the Governor on NYSC Matters, Hon. Wisdom Poyeri.
Other awards include Most Friendly Host Community (Lugbuon community in Southern Ijaw LGA); Most Friendly LGA (Brass LGA); and Most Friendly Corps Employer (The Principal, Community Secondary School, Okutukutu).
Mrs Okpalifo Obiageli Charity, State Coordinator, NYSC Bayelsa State, Mr Momodu Harrison, Mr Ominigbo, Mr West Sotonye, and Mrs Dolly were also honoured with Long Service Awards.
Staff merit awards were also handed out to Mr Ovie Dokari and Mrs Nelly Kuru.