By Folasade Akpan
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello, has commended the National Youth Service Corps’ (NYSC) Community Development Service (CDS) programme for being a major contributor to national development.
Bello gave the commendation at the presentation of the 2022 CDS activities and second edition of the Director-General’s CDS Awards in Abuja on Thursday.
The programme has the theme: “Harnessing the Gains of CDS for Socio-economic Development of Rural Communities.”
Represented by the Secretary, Social Development Unit, Hajiya Hadiza Kabir, the minister said that as one of the four cardinal programmes of the NYSC, CDS activities impacted greatly on the lives of Nigerians across the country.
According to him, the activities have improved peoples’ economic, health, political and socio cultural conditions.
“I therefore commend the efforts of the management of the scheme in galvanising the potential of the youth corps members, while also eliciting community interests toward national development.
“Let me also especially commend the patriotism of Nigerian youths who have been able to contribute their quota to socio-economic and political development and the good of the country through their selfless service under the CDs activities.”
He also said that the landmark achievements of the NYSC were seen in not only education but also the health sector, as youth corps members served as teachers in schools and medical personnel in various hospitals.
Bello, therefore, urged Nigerians to support the NYSC in its bid to actualise the goals and objectives of CDS, adding that youth corps members’ ideas and initiatives must be supported by all through the provision of funds and other materials for the benefit of host communities.
He assured of FCT Administration’s support to the NYSC as the positive impacts youth corps members were making on the various sectors of the economy of the nation’s capital were evident to all.
The Director-General of the NYSC, Maj.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, said the CDS was a cardinal programme of the scheme, through which it continued to make positive impact on communities, including remotest villages in the country.
He said the CDS activities were practical illustration of the continued relevance of the scheme and commended youth corps members nationwide for executing such services.
He added that “the institution of the Director-General’s CDS Award, which commenced in 2021, is to recognise and reward the hard work and innovativeness of youth corps members’ dedication and commitment and the immense support of our partners toward successful execution of CDS programmes.”
The NYSC Director, CDS and Special Projects, Mr Abdulrazak Salawu, said that CDS remained an enduring platform for youth corps members to initiate and execute programmes aimed at improving the living standard of their host communities.
According to him, such CDS projects include the construction of culverts and bridges, tree planting, development of farms, artworks, landscaping and beautification.
Others are campaign against HIV/AIDS Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) sensitisation, digital connectivity, mass literacy campaign, quality and free medical services to the rural dwellers.
He also said that CDS embodies economic, political and socio-cultural objectives such as improving life in the communities and motivating the people toward self-help projects for greater self-reliance, thereby reducing over-dependence on government.
Others are instilling in youth corps members, the tradition of dignity of labour by impacting positively and practically on local communities, thereby endearing them to such communities.
Highpoint of the event was the award to the best three CDS groups, best three CDS officials, best three individual CDS award winners, best three collaborative agencies/sponsors in CDS activities and best Net-Trix schedule officers and enumerators award. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu