The National Youth Service Corps on Monday identified inadequate funding as the major challenge affecting its Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme.
The organization said that despite the hiccups, it had recorded tremendous success in the implementation of the SAED programme.
In a statement by its Director (Press and Public Relations), Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, stated this in the speech delivered during the 2021 NYSC SAED stakeholders’ meeting and training of desk officers, held in Abuja.
He said the NYSC would not rest on its oars in its quest to sustain and build on the achievements made within the last one year towards making corps members employers of labour.
Ibrahim 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.”
The NYSC DG urged participants at the training to make deliberations that would lead to the expansion of the existing collaborations as well as developing new ones.
According to him, corps members are equal and laden with same potentials irrespective of their states of deployment.
He urged the SAED stakeholders to spread the opportunities of empowerment across the country in order to enhance national development.
The Director of SAED programme, Hilary Nasamu said as a result of the fallout of the 2020 edition of the programme, participant stakeholders expressed commitment to provide resources to tackle the challenges and chart a brighter way for the economic empowerment of corps members.
He said despite the effects of COVID – 19 pandemic, the NYSC made a positive difference and improved the scorecard of the 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.
Nasamu added that in order to step up the quality of training for corps members, the NYSC had started the process of re-energizing the involvement of the National Directorate of Employment including Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria among others.
He said access bank was now partnering with NYSC-SAED for direct financial empowerment for corps members through a competitive programme known as the lions’ den.
“Winners in this programme received a package of business mentoring and funding totaling N3,000,000:00 for corps members per camp and N9,000,000:00 for 30 winners in three states”, he said.