Richard Ginika Izuora
The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has strongly defended the establishment of its Trust Fund, reeling out most of the achievements the Fund has helped to advance.
While dismissing a misleading story, captioned, “How Top Military Officers Secretly Push For Establishment Of NYSC Trust Fund To Steal Their Retirement Package” perpetrated by misguided media platforms, Eddy Megwa, Director, Press and Public Relations, of the Scheme, explained that the decision to establish NYSC Trust Fund was conceived during a meeting held with some of the Scheme’s stakeholders; notably: the thirty-six State Governments and FCT Administration; and thereafter strongly supported by civil societies, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) as well as Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).
Megwa, further said, “Primarily, the Fund is purposed to address the infrastructural deficit besetting the Scheme in the area of camp renovation and maintenance; upgrading, building and maintenance of Corps Members’ Lodges, among others.
“Statutorily, the Scheme as it were, has a tripartite funding arrangement – the Federal, State and Local Governments, with each having varying degree of responsibilities.
“Over the years, the Scheme has equally partnered governmental and non-governmental institutions in the area of providing start-up capitals to Corps Members to fund their business initiatives under the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme which is a direct answer to the often asked rhetorical question: After the NYSC what next?.”
He said the Trust Fund provides funds to a greater percentage of Corps Members trained under the NYSC Skill Acquisition programme to start-up their businesses.
“It is appropriate to clarify that the Fund which passed public hearing, with civil societies, the academia, among others, fully represented is not a pool of slush fund meant to gratify the financial cravings of top military officers as erroneously stated by the writer of the story.
“While Management holds the media in high esteem as a worthy partner, it wishes to restate the need for writers to clarify issues pertaining to the Scheme with the managers before rushing to publish, in order to guard against misleading the public.” Megwa added.