From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has said that National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members are free to apply for the Federal Government’s N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari to fight poverty and unemployment.
Dare disclosed this on Monday in Jos while addressing Corps members at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Mangu, Plateau State.
The Minister said the programme serves as means of bridging the technical and digital skills gap in the country.
He explained that all that is required of them to benefit from the initiative is a Know Your Customer (KYC) viable business plan which would be rated, and that beneficiaries could recieve between N250,000 and N3 million to start a business.
The Minister urged Corps members to apply to the fund and that if they did their information should be channelled to their state coordinators, which would be sent to the NYSC headquarters in Abuja for submission to the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development.
He promised that Corps members with good business plans would be given priority.
The Minister said that due to the digital skills gap in the country, the Ministry had set up a Digital Skills Acquisition, Employability, Entrepreneurship Leadership initiative (DEEL initiative).
He said that in the 21st-century economy, educational qualifications were not enough, saying that there is a need for extra skills, be they technical or digital.
He said that the aim of the initiative was to provide 500,000 youths with digital skills in about 15 to 20 different areas such as robotics.
According to the Minister, the NYSC represents the single largest concentration of youths in Nigeria annually, and as such Corps members should serve as foot soldiers for positive change, development and as youth ambassadors to help to disseminate the works of the government.
Plateau NYSC Coordinator Ms Caroline Embu, who received the Minister and his entourage, thanked him for the visit, describing it as a morale booster for Corps members.
She said that since the arrival of the Batch B stream 1B Corps members to camp, they had adapted well and that none of them have developed any adverse health challenges.