Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
At least 500 corps members have benefited from the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Sokoto state since the inception of the programme.
Speaking with THISDAY in Sokoto recently, the state NYSC Coordinator, Mr. Thomas Yamma, said most of the beneficiaries of the programme had become self-employed while some are now employers of labour.
According to him, the objective of the programme was to reduce unemployment so that after the service year, corps members could be self-employed and by implication even be employers of labour.
He explained that during the three weeks orientation programme at the NYSC camp, the corps members were usually trained on different vocational skills such as tailoring, hairdressing and tile making.
“During the three weeks orientation programme at the camp in Sokoto, we bring in trainers who will train these corps members on different skills. We have different types which include tailoring, carpentry, tile making, cosmetology, and hair-dressing, among others.
“It may interest you to know that the cloth I am wearing now was made by a corps member and this cost only N5,000 and it was done at the orientation camp. So, if one can sustain this, the better for him.
“In fact, the Bank of Industry (BoI), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NYSC Foundation have variously come in to give them loans because the corps members have been taught how to write feasibility studies. The loan ranges from N250,000 to N1 million and we use their NYSC certificate as collateral,” Yamma said.
He appealed to state governments to build training centres to support the programme, saying it would go a long way in creating more entrepreneurs in the country.
The NYSC Coordinator commended the Sokoto state government for building a new permanent orientation camp and also donating two buses to the scheme. He also applauded the Sultan of Sokoto for his continuous support to the scheme in the state.
“I want to thank the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111 for the high interest he has shown in the NYSC scheme. He advises corps members that religion is a thing of choice and that they should hold on to their religion.
“He even directed all the District Heads in the state to ensure adequate security for corps members posted to their domain and that whatever happens to them, he will hold them responsible. So, this has helped in reducing by 50 per cent the number of corps members seeking for redeployment,” Yamma added.