…Faults Youth Minister
Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has faulted the Minister of Youths Development (state) Mr. Ayodele Olawande on his publicised plan to introduce internship programme in NYSC, arguing that such is highly irrelevant since the NYSC already has a well structured department for skills acquisition since 2012.
HURIWA which described the media statement by the honourable minister on the introduction of internship programme in NYSC as a surplusage, and error-prone, rather urged the ministers of youth development to dust up the file on the proposed NYSC Youths Trust Fund and canvass immediate signing into law by president Bola Ahmed Tinubu since the bill setting up the NYSC Youths Trust Fund passed at the tail -end of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, is on the table of His Excellency President Tinubu for his Presidential assent.
“HURIWA which commenced operations since 16 years back, has observed the institution of the National Youth Service Scheme from a very passionate perspective. We are aware that NYSC began skills acquisition offered to participants in the yearly NYSC National Service and has full fledged directorate or department within the NYSC and has been consistent since 2012. What NYSC needs now is a Trust Fund for the empowerment of corps members with capital to start on the skills acquired whilst in service”.
“HURIWA was part of the Institutional struggle and advocacy for this Trust Fund, particularly when the then Brigadier General now Major General Ibrahim Shuaibu headed the NYSC. If the honourable ministers of youth can very well request the President to sign the bill establishing the NYSC Youth Trust Fund, it will represent the largest revolutionary jobs enhancement initiative of the government since 1960.”
“This is because the NYSC participants who opted to acquire skills already in place within the NYSC, do not need to go job hunting after passing out parade but will automatically become wealth creators by obtaining soft grants from the NYSC Youth Trust Fund. This Trust Fund will take millions of people especially young graduates who did the NYSC OUT OF POVERTY. YOUTH Corpers are mostly very intelligent especially since the internal system of call up of participants was adequately upgraded and digitalised. For example, there are now over two dozen millionaires produced from the skills acquisition programmes of the NYSC that started since 2012. The honourable ministers of Youth Development who are both new, can check official record”.
Digging into historical account the Rights group recalled that around March 2023, the then Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, had disclosed that a reform bill, which has been submitted to the then President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for assent, will see the injection of N14bn into the National Youth Service Corps.
HURIWA quoted the immediate past youth munister as disclosing the aforementioned information during his welcome address at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Annual Management Conference of NYSC held in Abuja,
Dare had stated categorically thus: “The NYSC Trust Fund that is coming is a part of that reform…I must thank the National Assembly. At a period when people were clamouring for the NYSC to be disbanded, this bill was being pushed through the National Assembly. We found so many lawmakers who rallied around, from the House of Representatives and its leadership to the Senate leadership, to see that this bill went through the three stages, and then to the table of the President. When established, it will make the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme more functional through the provision of training facilities and start-up capital to finance the businesses of corps entrepreneurs.”
HURIWA said that if the two ministers of Youth Development had taken cognizance of existing records, there is no need telling Nigerians about introducing internship.
HURIWA recalled that four days ago, it was reported that the federal government announced plans to introduce an internship programme in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to enhance practical skills and employability of youths and bridge the gap between academic learning and real-world work experience.
This was made known by the minister of state for youth development, Ayodele Olawande, at the launch of a $50 billion fundraising programme for the building of a World Youth Peace Centre organised by the West African Youth Peace Mission (WAYPEM) in Abuja.
HURIWA however faulted the Minister of state for youth development and restated that internship Programme within NYSC is not innovative because a much more comprehensive programme which is higher in purity is already in existence which is a directorate for skills acquisition programme that has been institutionalised within the NYSC since 2012.