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NYSC Trust Fund will provide start-up capital for Corps Entrepreneurs, Training Facilities

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has expressed concerns about the lack of start-up capital for Corps members after acquisition of entrepreneurial skills.
The Scheme expressed its gratitude as the bill seeking to establish a Trust Fund for corp members scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.

Sponsored by Samuel Akinfolarin, an All Progressives Congress member representing Ileoluji-Okeibo/Odigbo Ondo state, the National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill 2021 passed the first reading at the House on December 16, 2021.

NYSC Director-General, Maj Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim, said the Trust Fund will make the Scheme’s Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Programme more impactful through provision of training facilities and start-up capital for Corps entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the 2022 annual management conference with the theme “Repositioning the NYSC for Improved Healthcare Delivery, Revenue Generation and Corps Employment For Self-Reliance” in Abuja, Ibrahim said the Trust Fund would also assist in addressing 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,” the Director -General said.

He noted that since its establishment in 1973, the 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 DG said.

He added: “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.”

The DG said the annual management conference is a forum where the NYSC top management and other key officers make critical reviews of the Scheme’s operations with a view to evolving new policies and strategies for improved performance.

Ibrahim said: “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 benefits the Fund 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 also 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

“At this juncture. I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Federal Government for its continuous support for the NYSC especially through the prompt release of funds for the smooth conduct of our operations.”

On his part, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello said his administration is proud to acknowledge that its 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.

The minister who was represented by the Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, Hajiya Hadiza Muhammed assured that the administration will continue to partner the Scheme for the successful implementation of its lofty programmes.

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