From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Major General Shuaibu Ibrahim, has expressed confidence that the passage of the NYSC Trust Fund Bill will solve the myriads of challenges confronting the scheme.
He spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2022 NYSC Annual Management Conference held in Abuja on Wednesday.
Enumerating factors like dilapidated Orientation Camp facilities, inadequate Corps Lodges and lack of befitting office accommodation, as some of the endemic problems facing the scheme, the newly-promoted NYSC boss, argued that the solution rests on the passage of the Bill.
‘Permit me to state that despite the aforementioned achievements, the scheme still faces some challenges. These arise mainly from non-discharge of statutory responsibilities by some critical stakeholders.
‘Problems such as dilapidated Orientation Camp facilities, inadequate Corps Lodges and lack of befitting office accommodation are being contended with in some States. Another area of concern has to do with the provision of start-up capital for Corps members after acquisition of entrepreneurial skills.
‘As we continue to call on the relevant stakeholders to help in addressing the foregoing challenges, I wish to also use this medium to appeal to the appropriate authorities and well-meaning Nigerians to support the establishment of the proposed NYSC Trust Fund.
‘Among other benemes she Fand will make the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Developrost (SAED) Programme of the scheme more impactful through provision of training facilities and start-up capital for Corps entrepreneurs.
‘It will als assist in addressing our infrastructural needs for enhanced operational efficiency. I am delighted to note and inform this gathering that the Bill has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives,’ he said.
Speaking further, he added: ‘You will agree with me that since its establishment in 1973, NYSC has continued to play vital roles in areas of national unity and integration promotion of peaceful co-existence among people of different socio-cultural backgrounds, and free movement of labour among others.
‘The contributions of the scheme to national development, particularly in the areas of health education, rural infrastructure, culture and tourism, sports, conduct of elections and job creation have attracted commendations from within and outside the country.
‘Detailed documentation of these and other contributions have been made in nine books which we published and unveiled to the public last year. The scheme’s accomplishments are also being showcased through our in-house news magazine, print and electronic media and the newly established NYSC Museum/Archives.
In his address, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Musa Bello, commended the input of the scheme tnrough the services rendered by Corps members in the development of the Territory, promising to continue partnering with the management.
‘The FCT Administration is also proud to acknowledge that our modest achievements as a government is attributable to the cooperation and support from others, including the services rendered by the Corps members deployed to the Territory. I therefore, assure you that the Administration will continue to partner the scheme for the successful implementation of its lofty programmes,’ the FCT Administration promised.
In his address, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare equally promised to support the scheme.
‘I would like to assure you that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will continue to give necessary support to the scheme for the successful discharge of its mandate. In particular, the Ministry and indeed, the federal government encourage sustained focus on mentoring of members of the Service Corps for entrepreneurship development and self-reliance as it will contribute immensely to the success of the economic agenda of this Administration,’ the ministry assured.