Government-led service: the example of the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps

Document type
Adebanwi, Wale
Date of publication
1 June 2005
Voluntary Action: the journal of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Vol. 7; Number 2
Social welfare
Material type

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The Technical Aid Corps (TAC) is an international volunteering programme set up by the Nigerian government in 1987 to serve as a practical demonstration of south-south co-operation. This article looks at the controversy within Nigeria over whether the programme should be discontinued: its critics claim that, in the context of Nigeria's economic and social problems, the TAC is too expensive and encourages brain drain, while its supporters say that the programme earns Nigeria much international goodwill and brings personal benefits to the volunteers. For their part, ex-volunteers are ambivalent: they applaud the skills development and cross-cultural experiences the TAC brought them, but complain about the inadequate remuneration and hostility from host communities. However, it is suggested that international service would be denied the crucial component of sacrifice if it were to have no negative consequence at all.

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