One hazy harmattan of December 1990, a 46-year-old colonel was appointed National Director (now Director-General) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), becoming the sixth Chief Executive of the scheme. He was Col. Hafiz Momoh an indefatigable military officer who came prepared for the task ahead of him as later seen in radical changes he brought to the scheme.
Momoh was said to be the first NYSC National Director to involve the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in imparting entrepreneurial skills in corps members through lectures and short-term soft loans. This initiative birthed what is now known as the Skills Acquisition & Entrepreneurship Department (SAED) at the NYSC. The department offers vocational training to youth corps members, encouraging them to employ themselves in a country ridden with a high unemployment rate.
During his tenure, Momoh was instrumental in the upward revision of corps members’ monthly allowance by 100 per cent. He was the first to negotiate with the Technical Aids Corps (TAC) in areas where corps members who excelled in their various assignments could benefit from the scheme. This was geared towards making corps members self-reliant. He introduced an insurance scheme which provided that, in the event of the death of a corps member during the service year, the next of kin of the deceased would receive a sum of money as compensation.
At the end of his impressive tenure in December 1993, he was sent to the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies Senior Executive Course 16 1994 in the rank of Brigadier-General. From there, he was posted to the Nigerian Military School as Commandant from 1995 to 1996. In January 1997, he was posted to Headquarters Nigerian Army Education Corps as Commandant and Head of Corps with the rank of Major-General.
His journey into the Nigerian Army started in 1972. He had his primary school education at Government School Auchi from 1950 to 1956 and proceeded to Holy Trinity Grammar School Sabongida-Ora from 1957 to 1961 for his WASC.
Thereafter, he went to Hussey College Warri in Delta State from 1962 to 1963 for Higher School Certificate. He was admitted to the University of Ibadan in 1964 where he graduated with BA (Hons) History in June 1967.
General Momoh took up a teaching appointment with Hussey College Warri from July 1967 to December 1969. He transferred to Nigeria Premier College Yaba Lagos from January 1970 to August 1972. In his quest for higher education, he enrolled for Post Graduate Diploma in Education in 1971 at the University of Lagos Akoka.
The late Prince Momoh was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in August 1972 in the rank of Lieutenant and was posted to the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna. In March 1975 he was posted to 2 Division as Garrison Education Officer. In 1977 he was sent on a one year Post Graduate Diploma course in International Relations at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).
Momoh was posted to Army Headquarters Education Lagos in September 1978 as Staff Officer. From 1984 to 1989 he was posted to Command Secondary School, Ibadan as Commandant. From 1989 to 1990 he was moved to the Institute of Army Education as Chief Inspector and Acting Commandant before he was posted to the NYSC as National Director in December 1990. He retired from the Nigerian Army in June 2000.
Major-General Hafiz Brahim Momoh was born on February 15, 1944. He passed away on the morning of Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Lagos, at the age of 76. He died peacefully in his sleep. On Sunday, April 26, 2020, he was buried in his home town of Auchi in Edo State.
General Momoh was married and blessed with 4 children.