The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has under its Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme (SAED), empowered 30 corps members with a total sum of N9 million.
It said the winners, drawn from three states received a package of business mentoring and funding totalling N3,000,000 for corps members per camp.
Speaking at the 2021 NYSC SAED Stakeholders’ Meeting and Training of Desk Officers, held at the National Directorate Headquarters in Abuja, the Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim identified inadequate funding as a major challenge affecting its skills acquisition programme.
He said the scheme will strive to ensure that it sustains and build on the achievements made within the last year towards making corps members employers of labour.
While noting the progresses the scheme has so far made in the implementation of the programme, he said: “The major challenges of the SAED programme are inadequate finance for corps empowerment, which includes skill and entrepreneurial training facilities, business start-up capital, access to mentorship as well as insufficient bilateral and multilateral collaborations.
“Despite the unusual situation occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant dislocation of many businesses in 2020, it is gratifying that so much has been achieved,” he said.
Ibrahim urged participants at the training to make deliberations that would lead to expansion of the existing collaborations as well as developing new ones.
The Director-General who said corps members are equal and laden with the same potentials irrespective of their state of deployment urged the SAED stakeholders to spread the opportunities of empowerment across the country in order to enhance national development.
Earlier, the Director, Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme, Mr Hilary Nasamu, said despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheme made a positive difference and improved the scorecard of the NYSC SAED initiative.
He listed the successes recorded to include NYSC-BOI partnership, NYSC-Unity Bank Partnership, NYSC-BATNF Partnership, NYSC-EDC Partnership, NYSC-Access Bank Partnership, NYSC-LFN Partnership, NYSC-NIRSAL MFB collaboration among others.
He added that the scheme has started the process of re-energizing the involvement of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) including the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) among others.
This according to him, is to step up the quality of training for corps members.