By Emma Okonji
The federal government has expressed dissatisfaction at the recurrent situation where organisations reject members of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) posted to organisations.
The government insisted that organisations must train and raise entrepreneurs with digital skills within the one-year period that the NYSC members were supposed to serve, rather than rejecting them for whatever reasons.
The Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who gave the directive, said digital skills among youths was needed to grow the Nigerian economy and directed organisations to begin to think towards designing organisational programmes that would address the digital skills gap in the country, by training youth corps members as entrepreneurs with digital skills.
In a statement, Pantami said: “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Communications has been drawn to the recent spate of rejecting corps members posted on National Youth Service by some parastatals under its supervision.
“Youths must be trained with the relevant skills and we should begin with youth corps members.”
He therefore directed all departments and agencies under his purview to comply with the provisions of the law regarding the NYSC.
According to him, the NYSC was established by the federal government with the objective of inculcating the spirit of selfless service to the community, encourage and develop ties among youths and to emphasise the spirit of oneness and brotherhood in all Nigerians irrespective of cultural or social background.
“It is in pursuant of this objective that the federal government mandated all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to make adequate provision for youth corps members to carry out their mandatory national assignment.
“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is particularly mindful of the fact that the future of our great country depends on the youths and therefore, they must be equipped for the critical role that lies ahead,” Pantami said, adding that the ministry has initiated a policy to ensure corps members are equipped with adequate entrepreneurial skills at the end of their service year to properly empower and position them as entrepreneurs instead of job seekers.
The minister therefore directed that with immediate effect, all agencies and parastatals under the supervision of his ministry must, among others,
provide opportunities for an appreciable number of youth corps members within their capacities in their regional and head offices annually, with adequate arrangements for their remuneration; give special attention to graduates with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) related qualifications; ensure the effective use of their time by posting them to relevant Departments/Units/Sections of the organisation; and plan and execute special ICT entrepreneurial skills capacity building programmes for serving corps members.
Pantami, said he was confident that the measures would be pivotal to the realisation of this administration’s ‘Next Level Agenda’ of building a prosperous and globally competitive economy for the benefit of all Nigerians.