Maj.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, the Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has appealed to stakeholders to speed up the passage of the NYSC Trust Fund Bill.
He made the appeal on Thursday in Abuja, during the closing parade of the 2022 Batch ‘A’ Stream Two Orientation Course.
Ibrahim was represented by Alhaji Suleiman Abdul, the FCT Coordinator of the Corps.
He said the Trust Fund when established would make the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Programme of the NYSC more impactful.
“Once it becomes operational, the quality of the programme will be further enhanced through the Provision of adequate training materials and engagement of more specialist trainers.
“All trainees with bankable business proposals will also be supported with start-up grants and you will in turn be expected to step down vocational training or employ a good number of youths of your host community.
“That way, we will be pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty, thereby stemming the tide of youth restiveness and tendency for criminality,” he said.
Ibrahim said the orientation course served as the launch-pad for the entire service and enjoined corps members to brace up for the tasks of the next phase.
“This is important as the entire nation looks forward to your roles in advancing the unity and development of the country.
“I urge you to remain patriotic, hardworking and resilient as demonstrated during the orientation exercise,” he said.
Ibrahim assured the youth corps members that their welfare and security were topmost on his priority list and that the NYSC had liaised with security agencies to ensure their safety.
“However, we expect you to play your own part by being security conscious at all times.
“You must avoid risky engagements such as staying out late at night, attendance of late night parties, visitation of dangerous places and acceptance of car ride from strangers,” he said.
He warned youth corps members against partaking in partisan politics as the 2023 general elections drew near.
He, however, advised them to serve as unbiased electoral umpires anytime they were called upon to serve as electoral officers.
The DG admonished them to allow the lessons learnt during the Orientation Course guide them during and after the service year.
“Let the spirit of NYSC live in you. Steer clear of politics, NYSC is apolitical, therefore, don’t get yourself involved in politics,” he said.
He warned the corps members against social vices such as drug abuse and trafficking, cybercrime and advanced fee fraud, adding that any one caught would be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the NYSC bye-laws.
The Director-General appealed to employers of corps members to accept those that would be posted to them, accord priority to their welfare and provide the enabling environment for them to develop their potential.
Samuel Elijah, a youth corps member, said his three weeks on camp was very interesting, entertaining and a worthwhile experience.
“I advise others who have not served and would be coming in to please enjoy the three-week orientation course, these three weeks can not be done again, it is a once in a life time opportunity.
“You meet people, you connect with people who are stakeholders in the society, build intentional relationships that you will need after camp, so please come to camp and stay in camp,” said Elijah.
It was reported that the bill, which passed through Third Reading in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, is expected to provide a sustainable source of funds for the NYSC.