By Olawale Jokotoye
Director -General of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has called for the establishment of a trust fund for provision of start-up capital for corps members to advance their business ideas.
Ibrahim made the call on Wednesday in Sagamu at the inauguration of a skill acquisition centre at the NYSC orientation camp in Ogun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the centre was donated to NYSC by the office of Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The NYSC boss recalled that the scheme had introduced Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) for corps members in 2012, when it realised that white collar jobs were no longer available in the country.
While commending the SDGs office for the gesture, Ibrahim urged the federal government to set up an NYSC trust fund to provide start-up capital for corp members who might want to develop the entrepreneurial skills acquired during their service years.
Ibrahim, who stated that the scheme would continue to be responsible and responsive to the development of the corps members, added that the role of entrepreneurship and skill acquisition could not be over-emphasised in the growth of the nation’s economy.
He also called for the replication of the centre in other geo-political zones, as part of efforts to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.
Ibrahim assured that NYSC would maintain the centre and keep it in good shape.
The NYSC Coordinator in Ogun, Mrs Belinda Faniyi, said that the centre would equip the corps members with the fundamental skills needed in the business world and make them wealth creators and self-reliant.
Faniyi listed the skills to be learnt at the centre to include: bread making, fashion designing, cosmetology as well as food processing and preservation.
Others, according to her, are farming (agro-allied), make-ups and head-ties as well as film and photography.
She said that the idea of the centre began when the SSA to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Adefulire, visited the orientation camp in December 2020 to sensitise the corps members.
“I strongly appealed to her to assist in the construction of a SAED centre within the camp for our corp members who might want to come in after the camp for the post-camp training and community development services.
“It is with great joy that I humbly state here that she has not only constructed the building, she has also adequately equipped it.
“She has equipped the centre with state-of -the-art and ultra-modern equipment, including 50 desktop flat screen computer sets and accessories, with tables and chairs.
“She also provided 100 sewing machines, with tables and chairs, and wheel balancing and alignment machines,” she said.
Faniyi further said that the creative works of the corps members from the skills acquired at the centre would always be displayed in a mini-museum owned by NYSC at the orientation camp.
“Definitely, NYSC in Ogun will be the first nationwide to have an e-library, archives and museum in the orientation camp.
“The positive impacts of this facility on the corps members and the public will remain unquantifiable,” she said. (NAN)