NYSC explains how to lift 100m out of poverty with a trust fund
• Facilitates the facilities of 1.18 billion naira for the body members
• Empowers 500,000 in 10 years, sets up skills centers
Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) justified its proposal to create a trust fund for all corps members nationwide, arguing that the fund, if ultimately established, will help realize the vision of the President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of unemployment before the next decade.
NYSC, a program created in 1973 to promote national cohesion and integration, found it had trained more than 500,000 corps members in various agro-allied, skills development and vocational training programs and facilitated $ 1.184 billion. naira for those who have applied in the past decade.
NYSC Special Duties Director Alhaji Musa Abdullahi said in a session with THISDAY over the weekend that there were no less trained and empowered members of the corps as part of its skill acquisition. and entrepreneurship development (SAED).
Explaining his central role in the fight against poverty and unemployment, Abdullahi said NYSC chief executive Brigadier General. Ibrahim Shuaibu had proposed the creation of a trust fund as a strategy to help realize Buhari’s vision of lifting 100 million people out of the cycle of poverty.
Despite the tremendous achievements the program had recorded less than 48 years after its inception, the NYSC had diversified its approach from career counseling to entrepreneurship development with the high rate of poverty and unemployment.
Of the 25 NYSC secretariats that have set up post-camp mini-centers across the country, for example, Abdullahi noted that the program has seen low attendance, possibly due to a lack of training tools. training or lack of awareness among graduates.
Abdullahi explained the centrality of the ongoing creation of the Skills Acquisition Center in all geopolitical areas to raise an army of entrepreneurs, who he said would deploy their entrepreneurial potential for national development.
He therefore noted that it was on this basis that the NYSC proposed to create a trust fund to equip corps members with the requisite skills they need to add value and empower themselves financially as they move forward. they perform their national services.
Once established, according to the NYSC director, the trust fund will also provide resources for training and empowering members of the body, particularly on skills training and entrepreneurship development. It is a strategy to end poverty since the president has envisaged lifting 100 million people out of poverty by 2030.
Since its inception in 2012, the Director of NYSC has listed SAED’s accomplishments to include the creation of a full-fledged department that would be responsible for streamlining the skills and entrepreneurial activities of Corps members.
As part of the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Department, Abdullahi revealed that he had received support from Access Bank Plc to build and equip a mega skills acquisition center in Gombe for young people. Northeastern States.
Moreover, according to the director, we are building a similar one at Jigawa for the northwestern states and at Nasarawa for the north-central states. Construction of the Southwest Skills Acquisition Center located in Ekiti State is already nearing completion.
Abdullahi revealed an ongoing collaboration with Unity Bank Plc, which he says has focused on funding business plan development programs for corps members.
He also disclosed successful partnership initiatives with finance institutions such as the Bank of Industry (BOI) and CBN, which he said would provide seed money for the entrepreneurs of the body.
To carry out these plans, Abdullahi noted that General Electric and Cognity Advisory Nigeria, among others, had trained 40 SAED agents in entrepreneurship.
He explained that SAED, which empowered the members of the body with the support of its partners, had helped put the members of the body on the path to prosperity.
“In the process, more entrepreneurs were created in the country. Since we launched SAED ten years ago, 20,000 trained corps members have been linked to various government agencies and non-government organizations.
“They were able to access credit facilities worth 1.184 billion naira. Upon completion of the training, corps members receive interest-free loans ranging from N200,000 to N300,000 to start their own businesses in areas of their choice or interests.
As part of the War on Poverty (WAP), an initiative designed to fulfill President Muhammadu Buhari’s aspiration to lift 100 million people in 10 years, the director explained that the NYSC has been able to train and d ” empower nearly 500,000 corps members to be entrepreneurs and employers of labor rather than seeking employment.
Abdullahi explained that the WAP initiative started primarily “as a career counseling unit. As the corps members were faced with many job opportunities or job vacancies, the unit was set up to help them make the right decisions.
“In the early years of its establishment, members of the corps had difficulty choosing where to work due to the many job offers they received even before their national service ended. This prompted the NYSC to create a unit called the Job Advisory and Counseling Unit (JAC), ”he explained.
When employment opportunities began to dwindle due to the increasing graduate population, the NYSC introduced various policies and collaborated with government and non-government agencies, which gave birth to SAED as a strategy to control the spiraling unemployment rate in the federation.
He therefore noted that government agencies “have been very supportive of the SAED program. The Office of the President’s Special Adviser on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sponsored the WAP initiative, one of the programs aimed at training entrepreneurs.
“WAP is usually organized to give corps members skills and start-up loans to professionalize in agro-allied enterprises. It is consistent with the NYSC’s vision of responding to the current realities of unemployment by shifting the focus of corps members from the unrealistic pursuit of white-collar jobs to that of becoming self-employed after national service.
Specifically, Abdullahi said that the corps members “are equipped with the skills required in agro-allied skills such as snail farming, beekeeping, fish farming, grass cutting agriculture, multiplication. plantain / banana suckers and poultry “.
The NYSC director said the NYSC has established a collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has promoted entrepreneurship and self-reliance since its inception in 2008 with the training of 600 corps members by year.
Thanks to the collaboration with the CBN, according to Abdullahi, more than 2,000 members of the body were affected. We maintain a partnership to ensure that at least 600 people perform their national service with the mindset necessary to establish their businesses.
Abdullahi revealed that the WAP was used “to facilitate the conduct of advanced entrepreneurial training for seven WAP entrepreneurs at Barry University, Miami, Florida.”
As part of this initiative, the director of the NYSC revealed that the National Economic Reconstruction Funds (NERF) has provided entrepreneurs in the body with credit facilities between 1.8 million and 3 million naira to develop their businesses and employ more than workers.