Make NYSC’s Trust Fund Your Legacy Project: HURIWA To Akpabio

Make NYSC’s Trust Fund Your Legacy Project: HURIWA To Akpabio

Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has admonished the Senate president Mr. Godswill Akpabio and the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives to impress it on their collective political godfather, president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sign into law the recently passed NYSC Youth Trust Fund that has just passed through the Senate.

The Rights group said that the initiative if approved by the President and the NYSC’S Youth Trust Fund is materialised, then it will become a rare legacy for the 10th session of the National Assembly that has gained notoriety as the most pliant and docile legislative chambers in the political annals of Nigeria.

HURIWA said the NYSC’S YOUTH TRUST FUND presents a very important opportunity for the Senate and House of Representatives of the Federal Republic to redeem her fast waning public image following a spate of scandals that have manifested in the Senate in the past few days especially the scandalous padding of the 2024 national budget in which Senators allegedly allocated indiscriminate sums of public funds to themselves for the so-called zonal intervention fund which degenerated into a public fiasco with the suspension of the whistleblower Senator Abdul Ningi of Bauchi state.

HURIWA acknowledged that it has been assured that the NYSC’S  Youth Trust Fund if established, will “Primarily, be focused or purposed to address the infrastructural deficit besetting the Scheme in the area of camp renovation and maintenance; upgrading, building and maintenance of Corps Members’ Lodges, among others.

“Statutorily, the Scheme as it were, has a tripartite funding arrangement – the Federal, State and Local Governments, with each having varying degree of responsibilities.

“Over the years, the Scheme has equally partnered governmental and non-governmental institutions in the area of providing start-up capitals to Corps Members to fund their business initiatives under the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme which is a direct answer to the often asked rhetorical question: After the NYSC what next?.

“The Trust Fund will provide funds to a greater percentage of Corps Members trained under the NYSC Skill Acquisition programme to start-up their businesses.

“It is appropriate to clarify that the Fund which passed public hearing, with civil societies, the academia, among others, fully represented is not a pool of slush fund meant to gratify the financial cravings of top military officers as erroneously stated by the writer of the story,” credible source in NYSC added.

HURIWA recalled that the Senate had emphasized that the NYSC Trust Fund Bill would address the issue of unemployment currently being experienced by graduates.It noted that the fund was meant to empower corps members with necessary skills during their one year mandatory service.The red chamber also said each of the corps members would be encouraged to access loans  from the Trust Fund for the purpose of establishing small scale businesses based on the skills they’ve acquired at the camps.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adeyemi Adaramodu, who sponsored the bill, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.He expressed the hope that if signed into law, the NYSC Trust Fund would also not be subjected to abuse like the other existing  social interventions programmes.

“The structure of the Fund does not give room for that kind of sleaze so to say. It can never  give room for it because there is strata and apart from having that strata, there is going to be checks and balances.“Not only that, this is a scheme for young adults of Nigerians and in fact, part of the young adults will be represented on the Board of Trustees that will be formed when it comes into practice.

“So definitely, it’s not going to be, then the structure of the NYSC as it is now there is little changes only for trustees  members and then even procurement.”

HURIWA is therefore urging the leadership of the 10th session of the National Assembly to utilise the historic opportunity offered by the passage of this bill to gain some credibility and mileage in the public eyes, by lobbying president Tinubu to sign without any waste of time the NYSC Youth Trust Fund.

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