March 26, 2024

Over 38,000 corps members thriving as entrepreneurs – NYSC DG


By Luminous Jannamike

ABUJA – The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has said that over 38,000 corps members have successfully ventured into entrepreneurship and are thriving as business owners.

The Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Yushau Ahmed, made this known during his keynote address at the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Stakeholders’ Meeting held in Abuja on Monday.

The event served as a platform for dialogue, program performance review, and planning for future initiatives aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and self-reliance among Nigerian youths.”

In his speech, the Director General stated, “I am most pleased to report that thirty-eight thousand, four hundred and sixty-three (38,433) of them have established their own businesses and doing well as employers of labour, while eleven thousand, eight hundred and eighty-one (11,881) were financially empowered by our collaborating partners.

“So far, 32,402 Corps members have been trained on eight modules on ‘kick-starting my business fundamentals

“The training will give 1,100 Corps members across Nigeria access to grants powered by NNPC Foundation to kick-start their businesses.

“Another gain of our collaboration with Kudimata is the acceptance by the Corporate Affairs Commission to register over 30,000 businesses of Corps members at 50% discount.”

Brigadier General Ahmed highlighted the effectiveness of the programme in fostering self-reliance among Nigerian youths.

He also acknowledged the substantial contributions of various partners in implementing the SAED program.

The NYSC DG noted that collaborations with financial institutions and foundations have been instrumental.

He stated that these partnerships have produced tangible results, with Access Bank Plc constructing well-equipped Skill Acquisition Centers across different geopolitical zones.

Also, collaborations with banks such as Unity Bank and Wema Bank have facilitated the financing of corps members’ businesses.

Acknowledging that not all corps members may choose entrepreneurship, Brigadier General Ahmed pointed out that the NYSC job portal and free digital training programs are being perfected to help those inclined towards white-collar jobs.

Despite the successes, the NYSC DG highlighted challenges such as the need for more capacity-building training, scholarships for training, access to markets, and favourable loan conditions. He appealed to stakeholders for continued and enhanced support to overcome these challenges.

Brigadier General Ahmed further emphasized the role of the NYSC as a significant influencer of Nigerian youths and called for collective efforts in preparing them for their role in the socio-economic development of the country.

In her remarks at the meeting, Mrs Ngozi Nwatarali, Director of SAED, reiterated the importance of stakeholder collaboration in achieving the programme’s objectives.

She emphasized the role of NYSC SAED in empowering youths to become self-reliant and contribute to national development.

“Our presence here is a step towards eradicating poverty. The hurdles of the paucity of funds, limited access to opportunities for business finance, and absence of a strong apprenticeship system are all surmountable,” Mrs Nwatarali affirmed, expressing confidence in overcoming challenges with the support of stakeholders.