By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier-General Ibrahim Shuaibu, has recommended the creation of a trust fund that would cater to the financial empowerment of all corps members as they pass out from the national service.
Ibrahim said this during a courtesy visit to a former Head of State and founder of the NYSC Scheme, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) at his residence in Abuja, on Thursday.
The minister admitted that the unemployment rate and level of crime among graduates had become a pressing issue and steps were needed to tackle it.
He also said there was a need to expand the capacity of NYSC orientation camps to accommodate the increasing corps population.
He stated, “The introduction of the National Youth Service Trust Fund will take a lot of financial burden off the State Governments.
The establishment of the trust fund will also reduce the level of unemployment among the youths while curbing the increasing rate of crime in the country.
“The funding will come from a certain percentage of profit accruing to some corporate bodies, and such funds can be used to expand NYSC Orientation Camps and renovate the camp facilities.
“NYSC is critical to the Health and Education sectors of the economy, and our Corps Members serve as headteachers in some schools especially in the rural areas.”
General Ibrahim restated the commitment of the NYSC in supporting initiatives and programmes that would help resolve the lingering unemployment crises in the country.
The NYSC DG argued that some of the ways the scheme was working for a prosperous Nigeria include partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, and other financial institutions to offer credit facilities to corps members to establish their businesses; adding that skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development remained the fulcrum for a wealthy society.
He said that graduate unemployment in the country was real, stressing that it required real-time and practically-oriented solutions.
In his remarks, Gowon hailed corps members for their intervention in the health and education sectors; and also, for the other roles they play during national assignments.
He promised to liaise with all the relevant arms of the government towards ensuring that General Ibrahim’s advice was adopted and implemented.
“There is the need to make the scheme more relevant and improve its standard. We will continue to encourage the youths to do their best,” he added.