From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, has said that the scheme is determined to take unemployed Nigerians out of labour markets.
General Ibrahim said this when the management of the Sun newspaper, led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Onuoha Ukeh, to pay him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja on Monday.
He further noted that with scaling up of Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme under his leadership, the management will ensure that every Nigerian who passed through the scheme will be equipped with relevant skills.
While appealing to Nigerians and the private sectors to pick interest in matters concerning the scheme, he commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry among others for supporting the scheme.
“It is a pleasure to have you, the management of the Sun newspaper. There is no doubt that the Sun is a big platform with wide reach. We appreciate the support of the management for publishing our programmes through editorial and advertorial.
“There is no doubt that the Sun has a big stage for the scheme to partner. I want to assure you that we are going to take this relationship to the next level. We promote national integration and entrepreneurship simultaneously in NYSC. With integration there will be unity, peace, development and with these, corps members can be mobilised year in year out.
“In the course of mobilising the corps members, we have come to realise that skill acquisition is very germain because white cola jobs are not readily available anywhere. While we promote national unity, we also give attention to skill acquisition this time during orientation and post orientation programmes. Our target is that Nigerian youths don’t need to go searching for jobs after service.
“I am happy to inform you that the corps members that took advantage of our skills acquisition training are doing wonderfully well. We have our partners with the CBN, BoI, Access bank, Unity bank that provide start up capital through NYSC Foundation for them to set up their businesses after their service year.
“To scale up our mission, we have appealed to the federal government on the need to have NYSC Trust Fund which will be made available as start up capital for all corps members. One of our cardinal focus is to make those that passed through the Scheme self reliant.
“Our target is to take many unemployed Nigerians of the labour markets. We have realised that these fresh graduates are digital in all there dealings. Once we can provide job for the unemployed Nigerian youths, I can assure you that we can go to bed and sleep.
“We realised that the ones we empowered are not only doing well but also employing others. The joy of the whole thing is that they don’t establish these businesses in their state of origin but state of residents which is part of the integration.
“I want to urge Nigerians to take interest in what the NYSC is doing. We also encourage the private sector to invest in the Scheme,” he appealed.
Speaking earlier, Onuoha, who led the Sun newspaper management, had commended the management of the Scheme, assuring it of the readiness of the newspaper to provide its big platform to publish its activities and programmes.
“We are happy to be here today and to underscore the importance of this visit, almost the whole members of the management team are on this visit. We came to strengthen our relationship with the Scheme and testify the good work you have done.
“This visit is part of the efforts to liaise with critical stakeholders to celebrate with the organisations and commend those we feel are doing well.
“The Sun has made tremendous improvements since inception till now including our press printing simultaneously in three zones like Abuja serving the north, Aba, serving the Southeast and South-South and Lagos, in charge of the South-West.
“As the Voice of the Nation, we talk about everybody including the common, high and mighty in the society. We give voice to anybody who has anything to say.
“We can testify for the successes you have recorded including last year during COVID-19 pandemic when the world economy was threatened. We also commend the efforts you have made within this two years you took over the mantle of leadership as the DG,” he said.