Alhaji Ahmed Ikaka, the South East Zonal Coordinator, National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), on Tuesday inaugurated a new Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Department (SAED) Centre built by corps members serving in Osisioma, near Aba.
Speaking at the event, Ikaka lauded the efforts of the corps members, saying that NYSC was leading the economic revolution in Nigeria with the skill acquisition training given to corps members.
He assured Nigerians of better economy with the series of training given to corps members to make them self-reliant.
He said that Nigeria had no reason to be patronising foreign goods when its youths creatively produce such goods.
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The NYSC boss, therefore, urged Nigerians to patronise local manufacturers and assist them to strengthen their economy.
“We should produce what we consume. We have the best skills in the world. You have seen from the exhibition we had here the production of shoes, hats, clothings and other things.
“We have seen also those in agro-allied, food production and processing.
“We cannot be deceiving ourselves, no nation develops on importation. The life of a nation depends on the skills of its citizens and none develops beyond the citizens’ skills.
“So NYSC is changing Nigeria’s narrative by developing the skills of these corps members and they are becoming job creators, instead of job seekers.
“A lot of NYSC members are contributing to the economic development of our nation.
“This is the only way we can move forward, we cannot continue to deceive ourselves,” Ikaka said.
He said that corps members had learnt to write business proposals, given loan windows with Bank of Industry offering N2 billon, Central Bank providing N400 million, Heritage Bank fund, NYSC Foundation fund and Credit Direct fund.
He said with about N10 million available for corps members to access, it will be easy for them to succeed outside the service and improve Nigeria’s economy.
The state NYSC Coordinator, Lady Bona Fasakin, said that Osisioma Local Government Area (LGA) had been partners in progress with NYSC.
Fasakin said that the council provided the land, where the centre was built, adding that by that act the council had keyed into the vision of the scheme in its fight against unemployment.
She urged other councils and stakeholders in Abia to emulate Osisioma’s example by providing skills training equipment to sustain the vision and ensure that corps members become job providers.
She further called for support for NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers so that rural dwellers would benefit from the programme.
The Transition Chairman of Osisioma LGA, Mr Ugochukwu Nwaogu, said the council would continue to assist in making life better for the corps members serving in the area.
Nwaogu, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Joseph Iguodo, said the council would seek ways to provide a lodge for corps members in the area.
The council boss pledged N50,000 donation to support NYSC programmes in the area.
The Local Government Zonal Inspector, Mrs Ruth Jacob, thanked the council for its support, while commending the corps members for their commitment in actualising the project.
Jacob said that the centre had taught the corps members how to produce many items that could enhance their economy and contribute to the nation’s socio-economic development.