The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, is deeply worried that inadequate funding is challenging its Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme.
It said however that despite this gap, the Scheme has recorded tremendous success in the implementation of the programme.
The Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim stated this in his address at the 2021 NYSC SAED Stakeholders’ Meeting and Training of Desk Officers, held at the National Directorate Headquarters in Abuja.
He said the Scheme will not rest on its oars in its quest to sustain and build on the achievements made within the last one year towards making Corps Members employers of labour.
“The major challenges of the SAED programme are inadequate finance for Corps Empowerment, which includes skill and entrepreneurial training facilities, business start-up capital, access to mentorship as well as insufficient bilateral and multilateral collaborations”.
“Despite the unusual situation occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant dislocation of many businesses in 2020, it is gratifying that so much has been achieved”, he said.
Ibrahim urged participants at the training to make deliberations that would lead to the expansion of the existing collaborations as well as developing new ones.
The Director-General who said Corps Members are equal and laden with same potentials irrespective of state of deployment urged the SAED stakeholders to spread the opportunities of empowerment across the country in order to enhance national development.
The Director, Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme, Mr Hilary Nasamu said as a result of the fallout of the 2020 edition of the programme, participant stakeholders expressed commitment to provide resources to tackle the challenges and chart a brighter way for the economic empowerment of Corps Members.
He said despite the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the Scheme made a positive difference and improved the scorecard of the NYSC SAED initiative.
He listed the successes recorded to include; NYSC-BOI partnership, NYSC-Unity Bank Partnership, NYSC-BATNF Partnership, NYSC-EDC Partnership, NYSC-Access Bank Partnership, NYSC-LFN Partnership, NYSC-NIRSAL MFB Collaboration among others.
He added that in order to step up the quality of training for Corps Members, the Scheme has started the process of re-energizing the involvement of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) including Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) among others.
Mr Nasamu said access bank is now partnering with NYSC-SAED for direct financial empowerment for Corps Members through a competitive programme known as the lions’ den.
“Winners in this programme received a package of business mentoring and funding totalling N3,000,000:00 for Corps Members per camp and N9,000,000:00 for 30 winners in 3 states”, he said.