NYSC trains 700,000 Corps members, disburses N540m to 325 Corps entrepreneurs

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has trained 700,000 Corps members in various Skills acquisition and disbursed not less than N540 million to 325 corps entrepreneurs.

The Director General of the NYSC Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, stated this in a media parley held at Barcelona Hotels in Abuja.

He said the scheme has achieved tremendous successes in its bid to help address the problem of graduate unemployment, while also fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship among the youths in the country.

“So far, over 1,132,409 Corps members have been sensitized and over 700,000 have undergone various forms of skills training under the ‘Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development’ (SAED) programme,” Gen. Ibrahim said.

The NYSC boss, who also disclosed that the Scheme is already collaborating with national and international organisations towards providing material, technical and financial support for the programme, explained that the SAED programme is designed to equip Corps members with requisite vocational skills so as to develop their business and entrepreneurial capacities.

“Presently, Corps members are being trained in skill areas such as Agro-Allied, Food Preservation and Processing, Culture and Tourism, Cosmetology, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Environment, Beautification, Construction, Education, Power and Energy, Film and Photography, and Automobile Technology,” he said.

The NYSC Director General, spoke also noted that a number of skill acquisition centres have also been established across the country for the post-camp training of Corps members.

Brig. Gen. Ibrahim, stated that the BOI-NYSC Graduate Empowerment Fund, which is a product of our partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), is yielding encouraging results with the sum of over N540 million so far disbursed as loans to 325 Corps entrepreneurs.

He added that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with Heritage Bank has disbursed N15,000,000 to seven Corps members under the NYSC/CBN ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Development’ (YEDP).

The NYSC boss said: “Through our public-private partnership drive, Access Bank has undertaken and completed the building and furnishing of a 1000-capacity mega skills training centres for the North East geo-political zone located in Gombe. In the same vein, the American multi-national, General Electric in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) under the Cognity Advisory Partnership has trained 40 NYSC staff who are now ILO certified ‘Business Entrepreneurship Trainers’.

“In addition to this, a significant number of NYSC staff have also benefitted from international capacity building training in China, America and Europe which has tremendously boosted the training and mentoring of Corps entrepreneurs. We have also successfully staged a skills and entrepreneurship development festival during which Corps members from all States of the federation and the FCT converged on Abuja to showcase their entrepreneurial skills through competitions and products exhibition.

“In line with the Federal Government’s policy of diversifying the economy through harnessing the country’s potentials in the non-oil sectors and our desire to contribute towards ensuring food security, the Scheme is resuscitating its farm settlement across the country.”

Gen. Ibrahim, asserted that the full computerization of the mobilization process which started with the 2014 Batch ‘C’ service year, has facilitated real-time generation of various reports on Corps data, use of biometrics for the monthly clearance of Corps members in all States of the federation and the FCT, automated printing of Certificate of National Service, Exemption Certificate and Exclusion Letters embossed with passport photographs, together with the biometric verification and registration during orientation programmes, among others achievements.

On safety of Corps members, the NYSC Director-General, stated that the Scheme is in continuous liaison with various security agencies with a view to ensuring the safety of corps members wherever they are serving in the country, disclosing that the NYSC Distress Call Centre (DCC), which was established in February 2012, is fully equipped with communication facilities that are manned 24 hours daily to ensure timely and well-coordinated response to calls from Corps members who find themselves in distressed situation through contact with the nearest security agencies and other relevant stakeholders.

His words: “In view of the strategic importance of the facility and the desire of the Scheme to meet current challenges, we have transformed it to an information centre with operational lines. Just last month, we got additional toll-free line from 9mobile to further strengthen the operations of the centre.

“With this development, the centre in addition to responding to distress calls from Corps members, staff and members of the public, also provides information on the operations of the Scheme to the Corps members and other stakeholders.”

By PRNigeria