As part of its effort to reduce the rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has charged corps members to build on the entrepreneurial skills taught during the orientation course.
Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, the NYSC Director-General, said this at the closing ceremony of the 2021 Batch ‘B’ Stream II Orientation Course which was held at the NYSC orientation camp, Kubwa, FCT.
Ibrahim, who was represented by Mr Suleiman Abdul, the NYSC FCT Coordinator, assured corps members that the scheme would work with stakeholders to optimize the impact of the skills training.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme, was introduced in March 2012, to teach corps members entrepreneurship skills.
“The NYSC SAED programme is aimed at equipping you for self-employment and wealth creation.
“I am delighted at the enthusiasm you demonstrated during the vocational and entrepreneurship training conducted in the camp.
“I encourage you to build on the skills acquired by availing yourselves of opportunities for post-camp training.
“On our part, we will continue to strengthen our partnership with relevant stakeholders to optimize the impact of the programme.”
NAN reports that the National Bureau of Statistics “Unemployment and Under-employment Report – Quarter 4 (Q4), 2017, to Quarter 3 (Q3), 2018”, reveals that the unemployment rate in Nigeria increased from 18.8 per cent in Q3 2017 to 23.1 per cent in Q3 2018.
NAN also reports that the director-general, in a nationwide virtual address to corps members on Sept. 20, said the scheme has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria to support corps members with business loans.
Other partners are Access Bank, Bank of Industry, Unity Bank, NYSC Foundation, and Leventis Foundation.
Ibrahim also said that the scheme was making efforts towards establishing an NYSC Trust Fund to be used to provide start-up capital for corps members after the service year.
The director-general further urged corps members to remain security conscious throughout the service year, stating that the scheme was constantly working with security agencies to ensure their safety.
“Let me stress that you must be security conscious at all times.
“In particular, I advise you to avoid risky engagements such as staying out late at night, attending late-night parties, visiting dangerous places, and accepting car rides from strangers.
“I implore you to shun drug abuse and trafficking, cybercrime, advanced-fee-fraud, and other vices. Do also remember that engagement in the local politics of your host communities is a no-go-area for you.
“Statistics by relevant agencies have shown that night travel is a major risk factor for a road traffic accident and such accidents occurring at night, renders rescue efforts fruitless.”
In an interview with NAN, Mr Jessy Melchizedeck, a corps member and graduate of computer science from Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa state, described the NYSC SAED programme as ‘a laudable initiative’.
“The NYSC SAED programme is a very laudable initiative, I participated in the leather works skills training. I intend to keep practicing this skill after I exit the camp to further enhance my skill.
“I want to not just help myself but others as well by starting a business in leather works. The initiative by the NYSC is very welcomed.
“Before I became a corps member, I did not know anything about leather works; I just knew that leathers are made and people probably make them.
“Within two weeks I was able to learn how to cut leathers and put them together to make a product.”
Miss Moyuoluwa Olajide, a graduate of Surveying and Geo-informatics from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, thanked the NYSC for introducing the SAED programme.
Olajidi said that the skills training has offered corps members the opportunity to learn new skills and also unearth the innate skills in them.
“I learned software design skills. The SAED programme is an interesting one because it helps corps members understand their innate skills.
“Most people could not code and did not think they could but through our tutor, we knew that it was possible and that countless opportunities are awaiting us outside as software designers.
NAN reports that 1,344 corps members registered for the 2021 Batch ‘B’ stream II service year and participated in the orientation course.
The corps members are expected to receive their letters of posting after the orientation and commence the primary assignments immediately. (NAN)