Abuja – The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has appealed to the Federal Government to fund its skills acquisition and entrepreneurship programme to reduce unemployment among youths.
The NYSC Director of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), Mrs Mary Dan-Abia, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Dan-Abia said more youths would have been trained by the scheme, if it was fully supported by the Federal Government, particularly in the training of manpower and establishment of skills centres.
According to her, the Federal Government’s support is vital as it would also help the youths roaming the streets in search of job placements to acquire skills for self-employment.
She dismissed the insinuation that many graduates were not resourceful, stressing that some of them had displayed great entrepreneurial skills but lacked the financial support to establish themselves.
Dan-Abia noted that the management of the scheme was worried by the statistics of unemployment among graduate youths in the country.
She said the NYSC SAED programme was unique as it emphasised on imparting skills and knowledge that would make beneficiaries self-reliant and resourceful.
Dan-Abia identified lack of resource persons, poor funding and other economic factors like accessibility to loan facilities as some of the challenges facing the programme.
The director said the corps remained committed to supporting the Federal Government’s policy aimed at addressing the problem of youth unemployment.
She said over 500, 000 corps members had been trained under the reinvigorated NYSC SAED programme since its inception in 2012.
Dan-Abia said out of the total number of trained entrepreneurs, 1,600 had become full-time entrepreneurs, managing businesses with varying degrees of success across the country.
“The NYSC, through the programme and engagement of more stakeholders, hoped to assist graduates to depend less on non-existent government employments.
“NYSC supports corps members to develop good business proposal that could be supported by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Central Bank of Nigeria,” she said.
The director said the NYSC was not specific about the kinds of training to give to the participants, stressing that the different areas of the economy were covered in the programme.
Dan-Abia said the NYSC would continue to contribute its quota towards building a team of vibrant and resourceful graduates that would be ready to support the task of nation building.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NYSC has fully incorporated skills acquisition and entrepreneurial development in its curriculum for training of corps members during the mandatory one year national service. (NAN)