The NYSC Youth Trust Fund Is An Idea Whose Time Has Come – HURIWA

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The foremost and leading civil rights advocacy group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged for the speedy consideration of the request officially made to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for the setting up of a solid footing of a Trust Fund for youths under the auspices of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme.

HURIWA, in a statement by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emanuel Onwubiko revealed that aside the positive, transformational and constructive social impacts the youth trust fund would bring, the initiative is about the surest panacea to end the perennial youths involvement in social crimes, noting that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

Endorsing the proposal put forward by the Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim- led NYSC, which now beckons for the urgent approval by the President, HURIWA informed that the Trust Fund will create partial or full financial autonomy for the scheme in funding its administrative operations while also assisting Nigerian graduates, privileged to pass through the scheme in offering a window to draw capital for their entrepreneurial exploits, after the post-service era.

More so, HURIWA noted that the investment capital which will be offered by the NYSC Trust fund to graduated Corps members will be a formidable backup to the knowledge acquired in the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme. This in the examination of HURIWA is the motivation of Brigadier-General Ibrahim for his recommendation and loud preachments for the creation of this trust fund that would ensure the financial empowerment of all corps members after the national service year.

“The Director- General of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme; Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim is a foresighted administrator. He is an administrative pathfinder of admirable qualities. In matters of public administration, he is like the famed seers of ancient days. He sees tomorrow with crystal clarity and begins to work on any obstacle today. His inclination to a prosperous Nigerian youths is unbeatable.

“Since assumption of office, as the NYSC boss, Brigadier Gen. Ibrahim has been in ceaseless motion in the search for better ways to reposition the scheme to fully discharge its mandate. The DG has reactivated NYSC investment platforms; upgraded and modernized the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme. Obviously, corps members are savouring the gains of his repositioned NYSC in diverse ways.

“In further pursuit of his dreams to bequeath a better scheme to Nigeria, Brigadier General Ibrahim has proposed a vigorous campaign for the establishment of the NYSC Trust Fund. When he first voiced the idea, doubters might have probably assumed he is bluffing. But the national endorsements and acceptability of this proposal now is amazing, which is only comparable to the Scriptural mustard seed”, HURIWA enthused.

Highlighting further on the need of having a transparently administered NYSC Youths Trust Fund, HURIWA averred that the brilliant idea by the management of NYSC would definitely change the fortunes of the scheme and its participants dramatically being that the NYSC management envisaged a Trust Fund which will be backed by legislation and draw its funding from a stipulated percentage of profits of corporate bodies in Nigeria as graduate unemployment is one of Nigeria’s greatest headache.

Continuing, the rights group asserted that once the NYSC Trust fund is approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and takes off, the number of young Nigerians who pass out from the scheme to face a depressing future by roaming the streets and knocking on the doors of government offices in search of white-collar jobs would reduce drastically.

“The NYSC Trust Fund is designed to assist them with seed capital based on the stipulations of the Act establishing it, in order to try their entrepreneurial skills and possibly, transform into employers of labour. It is a foundation to self-reliance and financial independence.

“Truly, the moments of joblessness after graduation and the mandatory service year are frustrating and quite traumatic. It stains the joy and pride of citizenship. So, an effectively managed NYSC Youth Trust Fund will be another method of tackling massive youth employment in the country.

“The pride of every patriotic citizen is to render service to his nation. In Nigeria, the NYSC is providing a veritable platform for the actualization of this aspiration for educated Nigerian youths below 30 years of age. And the excitement of service year, lingers long in the minds of young Nigerian graduates. Besides, the scheme has served as weapon for cultural and social integration among Nigerians”, HURIWA posited.

Again, HURIWA believes that an NYSC Trust Fund will conveniently address the subsisting challenges of infrastructural decay and funding which have strangulated the smooth operations of the scheme over the years. The rights group further trusts that the proposed NYSC Trust Fund will serve as a vault that will provide ‘seed money’ for graduate youth entrepreneurs after the service year for the effective utilization of knowledge taught at the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme.

Additionally, HURIWA informed that other foreseeable and solid impacts of an NYSC Trust Fund, which includes unburdening State Governments from financial commitments on the scheme in the magnitude presently obtained will equally serve as another frontal attack on the menace of unemployment in Nigeria and an instrument of curbing the increasing rate of crime in the country by meaningfully engaging youths. “The NYSC Trust fund will also provide funds for expanding NYSC Orientation Camps and the renovation of dilapidated camp facilities.

“And for the fact that it is intended that the beneficiaries will require neither collateral nor godfather to access the ‘seed money’ offered by the trust fund, all Nigerians can attest to the viability of the scheme and how it will help young Nigerians in various fields of entrepreneurial endeavours.

“This could explain why when some members of the House of Representatives tinkered with the idea of scrapping the NYSC, Nigerians stood up in unison to resist the move. Earlier in the year, a report released by data bank and research organization (NOIPolls) indicated that over 83% of Nigerians resoundingly rejected the scrapping of the NYSC scheme for whatever reason”, said HURIWA.

Nonetheless, HURIWA observed that while the NYSC, like other initiatives of the FGN has faced it’s fair share of setbacks ranging from poor funding to maladministration, the scheme has tottered over the years just as the group added that the scheme has not closed its doors to innovations and improvements, with successive administrations in Nigeria. “And from all indications, the NYSC’s moments of glory have berthed eventually under the leadership of Brigadier General Ibrahim.

“This assertion also finds expression in the favorable disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari who is passionate about youth engagement and empowerment. Therefore, the President has seen the NYSC as a platform to railroad the transformation of Nigerian young graduates into formidable and productive citizens.

“His appointment of Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim to head the scheme was a conscious attempt at re-engineering and repositioning the scheme for the maximum benefits of Nigerian youths and Nigeria.

“Hence, the idea of the NYSC Trust Fund which started like a whisper is now trumpeted by all stakeholders and leaders. Almost every notable Nigerian has lent a voice in its support. They are at the forefront of reeling out the benefits of the NYSC Trust Fund. HURIWA’s statement was issued after it held a consultative parley at the Weekend with about 56 registered non governmental and civil society groups which collectively endorsed the proposed NYSC YOUTHS TRUST FUND.

Likewise, while explaining that the Youth Trust Fund to be managed by the National Youth Service Corps would go a long way in raising entrepreneurs who would deploy their entrepreneurial potential for national development, the prominent civil rights advocacy group (HURIWA) noted that the urgent approval by President Buhari for the trust fund geared towards equipping corps members with requisite skills they need for value addition and financial empowerment as they are completing their national services cannot be overemphasized.

More so, when approved, according to HURIWA, the trust fund will also provide resources for the training and empowerment of corps members, especially on skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development.

“It is a strategy to end poverty as the president has envisaged to lift 100 million out of poverty by 2030. Fortuitously, the Brigadier-General Ibrahim Shuaibu’s led management of the National Youth Service Corps has listed the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED)’s achievement to include the establishment of a full-pledged department that would be saddled with the responsibility of streamlining the skills and entrepreneurial activities of the Corps members. The Rights group promised to provide civil society oversight on the implementation of the NYSC’S YOUTH TRUST FUND when it is actualized and hopefully soon.

“Therefore, HURIWA is canvasing for the urgent approval of the trust fund for its take-off as it has been adjudged helpful in actualising President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of unemployment before the next decade. HURIWA assures that as long as the management of NYSC does not deviate from the time honoured template of adherence to the principles of transparency and accountability, the Rights group will continue to support it.

“By and large, the Trust Fund is a testament that the NYSC has diversified its approach from career advisory to entrepreneurship development with the high rate of poverty and unemployment in the nation”, HURIWA concluded.

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