Brigadier General Johnson Olawumi, the director-general of the National Youth Service Corps, dismissed earlier reports of the NYSC banning pregnant women and nursing mothers from enrolling or orientation camps.
Olawumi said: "We did not ban pregnant women and nursing mothers from orientation camps. In the past, we have had cases where pregnant women and nursing mothers came to camps to participant in the NYSC activities. These are people who should come for service, but rather, we see ourselves managing them.
"So, what we are saying is that if you are pregnant, why don’t you go and deliver, then when you are okay, you can come for the national service. It is in their interest and also to give effectiveness to what we are doing in the scheme."
Olawumi urged Nigerian governors to continue supporting the activities of the NYSC in their respective states, noting, though, that lack of funds and other obligations might have reduced the governors’ interest in the programme.
Last week, the NYSC issued a statement detailing that pregnant women, nursing mothers and students undergoing postgraduate programmes would no longer be allowed into orientation camps across the country for service.
Olawumi faulted a situation whereby prospective corps members would be absent from the stages of the national service, only to resurface for posting to their various places of primary assignments. The NYSC's four cardinal programmes include mobilisation, orientation, primary assignment and winding-up passing out parade.