Over 1.4m corps members undergone skill acquisition training in 7 years

•As varsity Don canvasses more funding for NYSC SAED

OVER 1.4million corps members have reportedly undergone the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) skills acquisition training in seven years, the Director-General(DG) of the scheme, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has said.

The Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was inaugurated in March 2012 to “address” unemployment in the country by teaching corp members skills they will need to be self-employed.

The DG who made the disclosure in his office, while playing host to the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, expressed the scheme’s determination to increase the awareness of entrepreneurship development and wealth creation among Corps Members.

He pointed out that the introduction of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme was the Scheme’s way of contributing towards youth empowerment so as to reduce unemployment.

“We have gone into partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and other financial institutions which have been giving soft loans to Corps Members to start their own businesses.

“As you partner with wealthy Nigerians in the diaspora, try and encourage them to assist our Corps Members in the area of training or other financial assistance that could make them employers of labour,” he said.

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Ibrahim stressed the need to harness the potentials of Nigerians in diaspora towards national development.

General Ibrahim revealed the readiness of the Scheme to partner with the commission in order to achieve its mandate.

He added that “There is a need to set up an inter-ministerial committee that will interface with the relevant government agencies in order to discourage youths from enrolling in mushroom universities outside the country.”

In another development, a University Don and Agricultural/Climate Change Expert, Professor Chidi lbe has canvassed increment in stakeholders’ financial support for NYSC’s Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme.

He said this would remove barriers to start-up capital and allow youths to initiate ideas that can boost their agricultural business.

Professor Ibe made the appeal on Tuesday while delivering a lecture at NYSC Stakeholders’ meeting, SAED Officers’ Training and Debriefing Conference in Abuja.

Speaking on the topic, “The NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development as a Springboard for Sustainable Youth Enterprise in Nigeria”, the varsity don said NYSC programme parades the largest pool of vibrant workforce with lots of potentials in Africa.

Ibe who described the NYSC Scheme as a social protection for youth development within the supervisory framework of the government added that Corps Members are the most vibrant, resourceful, educated and knowledgeable set of youths.

“SAED is a vantage springboard that should create a conveyor belt system that would promote a successful social cohesion with the rural communities and the nation at large.

“With Agriculture being the primary source of food and income for Nigerians, development organisations must mobilise resources and climate start opportunities to develop the youths,” lbe stated.

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