The Decree No. 24 of 1973 establishing the National Youth Service Corps was promulgated on 22 May, 1973 "with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity.The objectives of the scheme, as contained in the enabling Decree, are: to inculcate discipline in our youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work, and of patriotic and loyal service to the nation in any situation they may find themselves.
To raise the moral tone of our youths by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achieve ment and social and cultural improvement to develop in our youths attitudes of mind acquired through shared experience and suitable training which will make them more amenable to mobilisation in the national interest; to develop common ties among our youths and promote national unity by ensuring that: as far as possible, youths are assigned to jobs in states other than their states of origin and away from their geographical, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
each group, assigned to work together, is as representative of the country as possible; the youths are exposed to the modes of living of the people in different parts of the country with a view to removing prejudices, eliminating ignorance and confirming at first hand the many similarities among Nigerians of all ethnic groups; to encourage members of the Corps to seek, at the end of their corps service, career employment all over the country, thus promoting the free movement of labour; to induce employers, partly through their experience with corps members, to employ more readily qualified Nigerians irrespective of their states of origin; and, to enable our youths to acquire the spirit of self reliance.
Although some critics have seen these objectives as too broad, with some of them unnecessary," it must be stressed that they readily provided a platform for the youth to participate in all spheres of the economy. In order to remove the perceived anomalies, the Military government under General lbrahim Babangida promulgated a new decree in 1993, repealing Decree No. 24 of 22 May, 1973. The new Decree No. 51 of 16 June, 1993, introduced fundamental changes to make the scheme more dynamic and relevant to the contemporary and future needs of the Nigerian economy and society, with the main thrust on corps welfare.