By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The NYSC Trust Fund Act, when passed into law, will reduce overdependence on government and work against the high rate of crime prevalent in our society today.
Dr. Fabian Nyiakula stated this today in Abuja at the beginning of a two-day public symposium with the theme: “Operationalising the NYSC Trust Fund Act as victory for Nigeria,” organised by Nigeria First in collaboration with Public Interest Society and Group in Nigeria.
According Dr. Nyiakula the NYSC Trust Fund bill which carries human face is for the development and growth of this country. The bill he said, is going to gave a tripartite benefit namely; it will benefit the corps members, it will benefit the staff of the NYSC and also the economy.
He continued, “this Trust Fund will enhance youth empowerment, it will enhance capacity building and ensure entrepreneurship and skill acquisition.
While speaking on how the Trust Fund will transform Nigeria, he stated that it will eradicate youth unemployment as trained graduates will employ more persons in their small enterprises. He stated that the scheme will curtail the vices in our country as those idle persons (apart from NYSC staff and government staff) will be trained in different skill acquisitions that will benefit the society.
Today, there is overdependence on government by teeming unemployed youth, but the acquisition of skills by these population of people will reduce drastically the overdependence on government, parents and politicians. He therefore called on the National Assembly to expadite action on the bill and transmit it to the president for urgent assent.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Convener of NIGERIA FIRST, Comrade Richard Augustine said the Trust Fund is about social inclusion and poverty reduction.
The NYSC Trust Fund is about having an inclusive society that is just, stable, tolerant and safe; a society where all members have equal opportunities, equal access to social benefits and equal rights to determine the set and pattern of social institutions that govern their social relations.
Stressing that the nation needs to build an economic model where business ideas will not be killed but nurtured into business empires; where men and women of skills shall realize their dreams and potentials. The youths have to be encouraged to strive collectively to end poverty, hunger and deprivation in the land using instruments such as the planned Youth Fund.
“NYSC Trust Fund which is on its final stage of becoming an Act is actually meant to address inclusive growth in Nigeria and this fact was well canvassed during the public hearing on the Bill held on Thursday, February 24, 2021”, he said.
He reminded that at the said public hearing, the Director-General of NYSC, Major-General Shuaibu Ibrahim informed the nation that the Bill sought to address the infrastructural deficit in the orientation camps, ensure adequate provision of other operational logistics, as well as address the problem of graduate unemployment in the country.
The Comrade informed that the President has promised the Nigerian youths of leaving a legacy behind and that he is always ready to append his signature on the bill if brought to his table.
He therefore extended his appreciation to the leadership of the National Assembly for showing commitment and proving to be on the side of the Nigerian people.
He also appealed to all friends of the scheme, including influential public figures, civil society organizations, students’ bodies, members of the academia and media practitioners, to continue the clamour as the bill is before the Senate for conclusion and make it an Act backed by law.
“Now that the bill is before the Senate at it last stage, the lawmakers should put their seal on this revolutionary legislation. There is no doubt that when the NYSC Trust Fund becomes operational, the number of corps entrepreneurs will increase drastically, and they will in turn help to provide jobs for millions of other youths of the country.This will equally help to reduce the issue of security challenges faced in the country, he said.
“It is instructive to note that majority of the lawmakers are products of the scheme as most of them are graduates of tertiary institutions who have participated in the scheme. From their varying and variegated experience going through the scheme, they will agree that corps members are grossly underutilised and one sure way of unleashing the real potential of the corps members is to empower them to be able to acquire new skills and put to use their training.
“It is important to point out that where the world economy is headed is
digitization and ICT. The nation will be killing many birds with just one stone with the NYSC Trust Fund – indirectly building digital economy, digital ecosystems, digital entrepreneurs, and many more since the youths cluster there.
“The effect of the Fund is predictably foreseeable. Nigerian youths are creative, resilient, upwardly mobile and ambitious. Yes many will fall by the wayside but a greater majority shall grow through that intervention and become self-made, self-reliant and more importantly, employers of labour in no distant time. That is the big picture that should form the allure for the lawmakers. If for instance the NYSC scheme were a school, Nigerian graduates under 30, by graduation they are all alumni. Those of them in the House of Reps at the moment should consider themselves alumni and pass the Trust Fund Bill into law as a way of giving back to the institution, which made most of them.
“The NYSC scheme has grown into an enviable and equitable brand to the point of becoming a mentor and model for similar budding youth schemes in some African countries. What this means is that the NYSC is not just of prime importance to Nigeria but also to some African countries. These countries have copied the scheme from Nigeria for its great achievements. Such countries are also waiting in the wings to further learn how Nigeria is reinvigorating the scheme of which the coming Trust Fund is one and will key in as usual.