MR Abdulrazak Salawu, FCT Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), in Abuja on Friday, has urged governments to stop paying lip service to the training of youths in skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development.
Salawu made the appeal at the closing ceremony of a nine day skills acquisition training for the batch ‘A’ Stream I corps members at the Permanent Orientation Camp, Kubwa.
The training was organised by the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) department of the NYSC.
He said that this must change if the nation is to attain any level of sustainable development.
The coordinator charged Nigerian leaders to put jobs in the hands of the youths to prevent them from taking to criminal activities.
He called on the Federal Government and other well-meaning Nigerians to focus on the skill acquisition programme of the NYSC as it has proven over the years to be the best strategy to addressing unemployment.
“Some of the training materials we use today to teach these corps members; we go to borrow them and this does not speak well of us as a nation; we can do better than this.
“If we say we want to impact skills on the youths, this is the best forum to do that; we do not mind turning all NYSC camps to skill acquisition centers for the youths.
“It is time for us to look at this problem critically and provide the necessary materials for solving this crisis. NYSC is not asking anyone for money we only request for training materials for these corps members.
“I urge well-meaning Nigerians and our leaders to look at the spirit these corps members came into camp with and their determination to acquire skills,” Salawu said.
He said that the NYSC needed a 100 per cent support from the government, individuals and the private sector to enable it achieve success in the programme.
The coordinator said unemployment was a problem facing countries worldwide adding that the only solution to the problem was for the youths to acquire skills.
According to him, this is why SAED was introduced by the NYSC.
“The skill acquisition programme is designed to impact on the youths the spirit of entrepreneurship and skill acquisition.
He said it was designed to also prepare them to be employers of labor rather than job seekers.
“As soon as they come for orientation, the skills that we impact in them is in addition to the educational skills they already have. In our interaction with employers of labour we have discovered that the education skills alone is not helping them.
“We have also had the opportunity of interacting with these corps members and what we observed is that corps members finish the one year national service and even after 10 years they are still calling saying they are unemployed,” Salawu said.
The coordinator said professionals in various skills were hired to teach the corps members various skills such as ICT, Aggro-Allied, Culture and Tourism, Education and Cosmetology, among others.
The NYSC has trained more than two million youths under the programme in the last four years.