A University Don and Agricultural/Climate Change Expert, Professor Chidi lbe has canvassed for increase in stakeholders’ financial support for NYSC’s Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme.
He said this would remove barriers to start-up capital and allow youths to initiate ideas that can boost their agricultural business.
Professor Ibe made this appeal today while delivering a lecture at NYSC Stakeholders’ meeting, SAED Officers’ Training and Debriefing Conference held at the Scheme’s Directorate Headquarters in Abuja.
Speaking on the topic, “The NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development as a Springboard for Sustainable Youth Enterprise in Nigeria”, the varsity don said NYSC programme parades the largest pool of vibrant workforce with lots of potentials in Africa.
Ibe who described the NYSC Scheme as a social protection for youth development within the supervisory framework of the government added that Corps Members are the most vibrant, resourceful, educated and knowledgeable set of youths.
He enthused the need to overcome all barriers in agricultural information and technology.
“SAED is a vantage springboard that should create a conveyor belt system that would promote a successful social cohesion with the rural communities and the nation at large”.
“With Agriculture being the primary source of food and income for Nigerians, development organisations must mobilise resources and climate start opportunities to develop the youths”, lbe stated.
NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim said the Management is committed to developing the spirit of self-reliance in the Corps Members by equipping them with the necessary skills for self-employment and wealth creation.
He appealed to both the existing and prospective partners to support the Scheme’s renewed efforts to take the implementation of the SAED programme to the next level either through material, technical or financial support.
The NYSC boss also advocated for the inclusion of mandatory Entrepreneurship Education in the curricular of Universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.
“We will appreciate interventions towards inadequate structure for the implementation of a national skill and vocational training framework curriculum, inadequate funding of the Skills Acquisition programme, lack of quality business plans to attract the desired funding support for aspiring Corps Entrepreneurs among others”, the DG said.
Ibrahim listed some of the accomplishments of the SAED programme to include; the sensitization of over One Million Four Hundred Thousand Corps Members on Entrepreneurship Development with over Six Hundred Thousand receiving various levels of training while a good number have established their businesses as successful employers of labour.
He added that the completed mega Skills Acquisition Centre for the North-East Zone by Access Bank Plc has been put into use while work is on-going at the North-West SAED Centre in Jigawa State and the construction of the South-West Skill Acquisition Centre in Ekiti State is at completion stage.
“Our confidence in the limitless opportunities available in the SAED programme for our youths remains unshakeable. We will not relent in advocacy and partnership drive of this nature as a core strategy of the programme”.
“With over 350,000 graduates youths being mobilised annually, NYSC remains the most critical influencer of Nigerian youths as agents of unity, peace and development. It is our hope that other stakeholders will also support this initiative for the benefit of our youth in particular and as the nation as a whole”, the DG added.