From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd), has pleaded with security agents to provide maximum protection to the corps members that would be deployed in the forthcoming National Population Census and the 2023 general elections.
Gowon made the appeal when he commissioned the new state-of-the-art radio and television studio built by the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Thursday in Abuja.
He expressed excitement that the Scheme has loved up to the intention of his military administration setting it up, pleading with the relevant authorities to facilitate the enactment of the NYSC Trust Fund.
Describing the NYSC Trust Fund as a game changer in the life of the Nigerian youths, he commended the corps members for rendering selfless services for the development of the country.
“I am always delighted to note that corps members have continued to render patriotic and selfless services to our dear country, especially as active participants in the implementation of national programmes such as elections, immunization, population census, advocacy programmes on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers and HIV/AIDS campaign, amongst others.
“While commending the Scheme for sustaining its intervention in these critical areas, it is my sincere hope that these and other achievements would be given the widest publicity by the NYSC Radio and Television Stations in order to elicit increased support from the general public.
“I also want to appeal to the various security agents to protect the corps members that will be involved in population census as well as the forthcoming general elections,” he pleaded.
Gowon, who equally made appeal for the urgent passage of the NYSC Trust Fund, emphasised: “let me use this unique opportunity to once again express my support for the proposed NYSC Trust Fund. I am impressed with the progress made on the legislative processes towards the passage of the Bill on the establishment of the Fund at the National Assembly.
“I look forward to the final conclusion of these processes and the eventual take-off of the Trust Fund, which promises to be a game-changer for the NYSC our graduate youths and the Nigerian economy,” he said.
“It is my earnest expectation that Nigerians will not only find the NYSC Radio and Television Stations as reliable platforms for information dissemination, education and entertainment, but also ensure regular patronage of their services. In doing so, we will be demonstrating our collective determination to bequeath a better nation to future generations of Nigerians,” he noted.
In his address earlier, the Director-General NYSC, Major General Shuaibu Ibrahim, explained that; “the establishment of NYSC radio and television is part of the whole gamut of activities designed to further advance the cause of the Scheme, which today symbolizes national unity, and is in the forefront of raising a crop of youth entrepreneurs that contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Products through their exposure to the NYSC Sidll Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development training.
“While the NYSC Radio broadcasts do Channel 88.3 FM in Abuja the NYSC Television runs on TStv Channel 365. The philosophy behind the establishment of these stations is multifaceted They will educate and entertain: give the Scheme a stronger voice to propagate the programmes and sensitize Nigerians on the policies of government, in addition to the promotion of national unity, national ethos, as well as values re orientation.
“Thus, they will contribute in redirecting the mindsets of Nigerians, especially the youth, towards things that are noble. Primarily run by Corps Members under the supervision of relevant NYSC Staff members, they are also meant to provide an avenue to train and hone the skills of successive hatches of corps members interested in pursuing careers in the broadcast industry, particularly in the areas of production, TV/Radio engineering, programme presentation graphic design and content development, among others Indeed, going by the number of talents so far harvested among the Corps Members to run the stations, I will say without equivocation that Nigeria is truly blessed with rich human resources,” General Ibrahim noted.
In his remarks, the Director Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, said that: “the fact that the NYSC radio and television hit the airwaves barely a month after the licences were granted is a testimony to the passion the NYSC Director General has for this project and indeed for any project he sets out to accomplish.
“I recall with nostalgia that the first assignment the Director General gave me on assumption of duty as the Chief Executive of the Scheme was to prepare a memo to the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for a radio broadcast licence. Almost three years after, we are celebrating this great feat with thunderous excitement.
“We thank the DG for bequeathing this legacy to the Scheme. Our gratitude for giving us voice cannot be enough. On behalf of the NYSC family I say God bless you for this gesture and for taking the NYSC to greater heights in all fronts within the short period of your tour of duty in the Scheme,” he noted.