The Senate has thrown out a bill which seeks to amend the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Act.
The bill seeks to give female corps members the option of wearing skirts instead of trousers as mandated by the NYSC.
The sponsor of the bill, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba-South during plenary on Wednesday argues that section 13 and 16 of the Principal Act should be amended.
He said the amendment was intended to “ensure that regulations made by the NYSC directorate prescribing uniforms and exercise regimen do not violate the religious practices and beliefs of corps members.”
Bwacha proposed that a new Subsection 3 be inserted to Section 16 of the NYSC Act.
The subsection is to read, “In exercising its powers under Subsection 2(a) and (b) of this section, the Directorate shall take into consideration the need to prescribe or adopt uniforms and exercise regimen or drills that do not violate the religious practices relating to modest dressing, and accordingly specify alternative uniforms and exercise regimen that conform to the religious dictates and conscience of corps members as recognised by the 1999 Constitution.”
Although the amendment of the NYSC Act failed to pass through in the Senate, Senator Bwacha told journalists that he intends to pursue another alternative by speaking with the NYSC management to allow female corps members who for religious reasons are unwilling to wear trousers, to have the option of wearing skirts.
Undeterred, Senator Bwacha insists that the controversial amendment has its merits.