From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig-Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim, on Thursday visited former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, advocating the establishment of National Youth Service Trust Fund.
Brig-Gen Ibrahim, explained that the trust fund would cater for the financial empowerment of all Corps Members as they pass out from Service to help them establish their vocational businesses with the skills acquired from the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme in the course of service.
Speaking when he paid courtesy visit on Gowon, the founder of the NYSC Scheme, at his residence in Abuja, he noted that the establishment of the Trust Fund would also reduce the level of unemployment among the youths and curb the increasing rate of crime in the country.
The DG further revealed that since 2012 when the NYSC Scheme introduced SAED department into its Orientation Course content, it has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and other financial institutions to offer credit facilities to Corps Members to establish their businesses.
He restated the need to expand the capacity of NYSC Orientation Camps to be able to accommodate the ever increasing corps population; calling for a regular maintenance of the camp facilities.
On the trust fund, he explained; “The funding will come from a certain percentage of profit accruing to some corporate bodies, and such funds can be used to expand NYSC Orientation Camps and renovate the camp facilities.
“NYSC is critical to the health and education sectors of the economy, and our corps members serve as head teachers in some schools especially in the rural areas.
“The introduction of the Trust Fund will take a lot of financial burden off the State governments”, the DG argued.
In his remark, General Gowon commended the DG for his foresight, which has reinforced the relevance of the scheme.
He appreciated corps members for their intervention in the health and education sectors, as well as the creditable roles they play during national assignments, especially their efforts in the curtailment of the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
While promising to liaise with all the relevant arms of the government towards ensuring that the DG’s request becomes a reality, he said: “There is the need to make the Scheme more relevant and improve its standard. We will continue to encourage the youths to do their best,” he concluded.