From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, has challenged Corps members to ‘equip themselves with modern trends in agriculture’ during their one-year national service.
He gave the advice on Monday in his address during a virtual seminar organised by Corps members serving at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan.
The NYSC DG further noted that the management of the scheme is seeking the active participation of Corps members in agriculture in alignment with federal government’s drive to boost agriculture and diversify the national economy from over-dependence on oil.
He also disclosed that NYSC has resuscitated its farms and other ventures for the impartation of skills to Corps members, adding that it has also given attention to NYSC Skills Acquisition programme to empower Corps members with skills that will provide them with alternative sources of livelihood after service.
‘I call on Corps members to leverage on the opportunity provided by this seminar to equip themselves with modern trends in agriculture. I urge you to sustain the momentum and continue to reach out to other Corps members and youths so as to introduce digital delivery tools in agriculture,’ he said.
‘The scheme will continue to provide a conducive environment for Corps members to acquire skills through its ventures, skill acquisition programmes and collaborations with other agencies.
“I commended the organisers of the seminar. The synergy between the NYSC Scheme and IITA is yielding positive results that will lead to the emergence of youths that would make their mark in agro-business, thus, becoming employers of labour, instead of job seekers.
‘I urge Corps members to key into other youth empowerment programmes of the federal government such as the N75 billion Youth Investment Trust Fund, National Young Farmers Scheme, Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria and other programmes designed to ensure that youths are self-reliant,’ he charged.
In her remarks, the Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services, IITA Ibadan, Hilde Koper-Limbourg, said IITA has the mandate to reduce food scarcity, appealing to the Corps members to embrace agro-business that would make them wealth and job creators.
Prof Sanni Lateef, Project Manager Basics ll, in his paper, urged the Corps members to make a critical understudy of the prevailing food shortage and profer solutions.