The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have reached an agreement to form a synergy in the area of entrepreneurship to empower Corps members. During a meeting in Abuja on Friday when the Director General NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim visited the ILO Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Liberia and Sierra-Leon, Mr. Dennis Zulu, they unanimously agreed that skills and ideas in entrepreneurship as well as start-up funding were the catalysts that can easily propel the youths into becoming great business tycoons which the nation can depend on to create jobs and also boost the economy.
Ibrahim said that the scheme came up with Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Department in 2012, stressing that the department was saddled with the sole responsibility of ensuring that Corps members are adequately equipped with sundry skills that will make them self-reliant at the end of their service year.
To this end he said experts were hired, who train Corps members in orientation camps across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. He further said that the SAED training which comprises in-camp and post-camp segments covers skill sets such as agro allied ventures, fashion designing, cosmetology, automobile, ICT, film making and photography, culture and tourism, food processing and preservation, and environmental beautification among others. He equally stated that NYSC was already into partnership with some financial institutions notably the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, and Heritage Bank in providing soft and/or interest free loans to Corps members who present bankable business plans. Ibrahim thanked ILO for accepting to support his plan to expand SAED and make more robust, by establishing skill centres in all parts of the country. “Sir, as we speak, NYSC has two skill centres in Ekiti and Gombe states. Access bank has offered to build and equip three more centres in no distant time; and some States have also agreed to provide Corps members training centres in their domains” he stressed. On his part, Mr Dennis assured the scheme of the success of the partnership, promising to make contributions in every area of need, within available resources.