Gowon: NYSC One of Most Far-reaching Decisions of My Govt

•Appeals for presidential assent to scheme’s trust fund bill

Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

In commemoration of its 50 years of creation, a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, yesterday, described the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme as one of the most far-reaching decisions of his administration.

He however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the NYSC Trust Fund Bill.

Gowon spoke at the commissioning of the NYSC Information Communication Technology (ICT) building at the NYSC headquarters in Abuja, as part of the scheme’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

The NYSC Trust Fund if operational, would help the scheme to create entrepreneurs who would help create jobs, the former Head of state noted.

“As the scheme celebrates its golden jubilee of selfless and laudable contributions to the development of our dear country, I pray for presidential assent of the proposed NYSC Trust Fund, which would make possible a turnaround of events for the scheme, most especially, in the improvement of training facilities of the scheme, provision of start-up capital to corps members to finance their businesses in line with the skills they acquire through the NYSC SAED programme, among other benefits,” Gowon said

He noted that it had become necessary to reiterate the fact that the establishment of the NYSC on May 22, 1973 was one of the most far-reaching decisions “while in office, necessitated as of that moment, when the unity and peaceful co-existence of our country was just recovering and at a low ebb.

“The National Youth Service Corps in its five decades of tremendous contributions to national development has become a cynosure for other organisations within and outside the country.

“This is due to its role in the promotion of national unity and integration, free movement of labour enhancing manpower, improvement in education, effective participation in national assignments such as the conduct of elections and projected population census, development of culture and tourism, job creation, rural development, provision of free healthcare among other benefits.

“All these achievements have also attracted commendations from both local and the international communities,” he said, while using the opportunity to call on all stakeholders to fulfill their responsibilities to the scheme.

Gowon appealed to all Nigerians, corporate organisations, ministries, departments and agencies of government, philanthropists, religious organisations, and other stakeholders to provide every necessary support for the scheme to enable it consolidate on the successes recorded in the last 50 years.

He also called on respective state governments to intensify efforts on setting up and upgrading of the facilities in their Orientation Camps so as to provide environment conducive to enhance hitch-free training of corps members during their three weeks orientation period.

The former Nigerian leader praised the scheme for introducing skills acquisition into their training content, adding that the introduction of Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Programme into the Orientation Course content of the NYSC since 2012, has been a blessing to the country, most especially the acquisition of skill by a large number of corps members that passed through the Scheme.

The NYSC Director General, Brig. Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, said the scheme wanted to remain a reference point to other youth organisations in Africa.

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