President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, presented awards to 168 former corps members at the combined 2015/2016/2017 president’s NYSC honours award held at the state house banquet hall, Abuja.
Buhari, who was represented by Yemi Osinbajo, his vice, also announced automatic employment to the awardees in the federal civil service and scholarships up to doctorate level in any Nigerian universities.
Yakubu Gowon, former head of state, who created the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1973, was also in attendance.
15 ex-corps members who suffered disability during their service year were also recognised under the NYSC Hope Alive programme.
There was also the national council for women affairs award to three best female awardees.
The president’s NYSC honours award was instituted in 1974 to encourage corps members to contribute to the overall national development by embarking on community development projects.
Buhari said that it was the exceptional individuals in society who were the true builders of institutions and nations.
According to him, the vision, innovation and hard work of one person is sufficient to make a difference in the life of a community or a nation.
The president said that enduring individual success was a function of courage and resilience, adding that he was challenged by the remarkable courage of the corp members who suffered various accidents while in service.
“The fact that they have gone through these harrowing personal injuries and are still determined to engage the future with hope and confidence is proof that they will still experience the joys of great success and fulfillment,” he said.
“To all of today’s honorees, let me make it clear that you are not just the future of this country, but also its present.
“You must all see yourselves as the leaders that you are; but leadership comes with responsibilities and continuous sacrifice.
“The successes you have achieved and are being rewarded for today, should inspire you to even greater feats, in your various spheres of influence.
“I therefore charge you all to continue to be the light for others to follow, whilst also seeing yourselves as lifelong ambassadors of the NYSC.
“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 scholarships up to Doctorate level in any Nigerian University of your choice.”