The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim has identified inadequate funding as the major challenge impeding the growth of the scheme’s Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Programme.
This disclosure was made known by, Press and Public Relations, NYSC, Adenike Adeyemi, while delivering a statement by the Director on Monday at the 2021 NYSC SAED stakeholders’ meeting and training of desk officers in Abuja.
Adeyemi said that despite poor funding, the scheme has recorded tremendous success in the implementation of the programme.
“The scheme will not rest on its oars in its quest to sustain and build on the achievements made within the last year towards making corps members employers of labour.
“The major challenges of the SAED programme are inadequate to 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.”
The director urged participants at the training to make deliberations that would lead to the expansion of the existing collaborations as well as developing new ones.
Corps members, he said, are equal and laden with the same potential irrespective of the state of deployment and 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, 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.
Nasamu said, “Despite the effects of the 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, and NYSC-NIRSAL MFB collaboration, among others.
According to him, “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.”
He disclosed that Access Bank now partners with NYSC-SAED for direct financial empowerment for corps members through a competitive programme known as the lions’ den.
He said winners in the programme received a package of business mentoring and funding totalling N3 million corps members per camp and N9 million for 30 winners in states.