Corps members have been reminded that the entire nation is looking forward to their roles in advancing the unity and development of the country urging them to remain patriotic, hardworking and resilient as demonstrated during their orientation exercise.
They were also told that the Orientation Course they underwent should serve as a launch-pad for the entire Service year as they are enjoined to brace up for the tasks of the next phase.
The assertion was made by the Director-General of the National Youths Service Scheme (NYSC), MAJOR GENERAL Shuaibu Ibrahim at the terminal parade/closing ceremony of the 2022 Batch A Orientation course of Corps members posted to Yobe state.
The DG stated that, “As you get set to report to your Places of Primary Assignment, I wish to stress the need for you to be diligent in the performance of your duties. I also urge you to integrate into your host communities through the learning of their languages and cultures”.
Furthermore, he advised them to devote time to identify the felt needs of their host communities, and initiate personal and group Community Development Service projects that will uplift their living standards.
According to him, “like I said during my previous addresses to you, white-collar jobs are no longer easy to come by, hence the need to embrace the self-employment option. Accordingly, the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme has been carefully designed to equip you for self-employment and wealth creation”.
He stressed that, “Of course, the level of enthusiasm you demonstrated during the vocational and entrepreneurial training conducted in the Camp is commendable. You are further encouraged to build on the skills acquired by availing yourselves of opportunities for post-camp training”.
Shuaibu Ibrahim who is an Associate Professor added that, “It may interest you know that the desire to make the SAED programme more impactful partly informed our advocacy for the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund”.
He assured that, “Once it becomes operational, the quality of the programme will be further enhanced through the provision of adequate training materials and engagement of more specialist trainers. All trainees with bankable business proposals will also be supported with start-up grants”.
He stressed that, “You will, in turn be expected to step down vocational training or employ a good number of youths of your host community. That way, we will be pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty, thereby stemming the tide of youth restiveness and tendency for criminality”.
The DG who was represented by the Yobe State Commissioner of NYSC, Hajiya Hafsat Yerima used the opportunity to thank the House of Representatives and, by extension, the entire National Assembly for the progress made so far on the legislative processes on the Bill for the establishment of the Trust Fund, which has not only passed through the second reading, but also subjected to public hearing.
“In the same vein, I thank the numerous stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, various Government Agencies, non-Governmental organizations, the academia, civil society organizations as well as women, youth and students’ groups, who used the occasion of the public hearing to voice their overwhelming support for the Bill. I wish to passionately appeal to the appropriate authorities to facilitate the success of the remaining processes that will bring the Trust Fund to fruition”, he said.
He then assured the Corps Members, that their welfare and security are topmost on the priority list of the Directorate saying, “In this regard, we have sustained our liaison with security agencies and other stakeholders with the view of not only ensuring your safety, but also making the essential provisions that will enable you have a fulfilling service year”.
According to him, “However, we expect you to play your own part by being security conscious at all times. You must avoid risky engagements such as staying out late at night, attendance of late night parties, visitation of dangerous places, and acceptance of car ride from strangers”.
He also warned that social vices such as drug abuse and trafficking, cybercrime and advanced-fee-fraud will not be condoned stressing that, “anyone caught will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the NYSC Bye-Laws. I enjoin you to be law-abiding at all times, and be good ambassadors of the NYSC and your families. You are also strongly advised to use social media for positive purposes instead of promoting rumours, fake news, hatred as well as ethnic jingoism”.
Furthermore, he reiterated warning against unauthorized journeys and night trips in order to greatly minimize the risk of road traffic accidents just as they are expected to always cut short trips from 6 o’clock in the evening and pass the night at military barracks and other locations officially designated as safe.
He also said that, “You are also strongly advised to avoid boarding vehicles at locations other than officially approved motor parks so as to avoid falling prey to criminals disguising as commercial vehicle drivers” .
The DG also used the opportunity to remind them of the need to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols wherever they find themselves saying that, “for your information, the Federal Government’s directive on the presentation of evidence of COVID-19 vaccination as a pre-requisite for gaining entry to public offices subsists. You are, therefore, advised to take the vaccine if not done already”.
He charged the Corps members to help in sensitizing members of the host communities about preventive measures, including the need to accept the vaccines.
“I consider it most appropriate to use this opportunity to once again express our profound gratitude to the Federal Government for providing the enablement for the take-off of Corps members’ enrolment in the National Health Insurance Scheme under a comprehensive initiative known as NYSC Group Individual Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP)”, he added.
He enjoined all Corps members to take full advantage of the arrangement by registering under Health Care Providers in their service locations, and always report promptly for medical attention in the event of ill health.
Shuaibu Ibrahim said that Corps members can also visit any NHIS accredited hospital during the official leave period outside their service locations.
He then appealed to Corps Employers to accept Corps Members that will be posted to them saying, “You are expected to accord priority to their welfare and provide the enabling environment for them to develop their potentials. I also call on State and Local Government authorities, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to give them the necessary encouragement, especially through support for their Community Development Service initiatives”.