By Yashim Katurak
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Saturday called on the Federal Government and the private sector to support in providing materials for skills training of corps members.
Mr Abdulrazak Salawu, the NYSC FCT Coordinator, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Salawu said that the scheme needed training materials to adequately train the large number of corps members, noting that most of the materials currently being used were borrowed by the corps.
He said with the large number of youths mobilised annually for national service nationwide, the corps was faced with the challenge of providing materials for them to acquire skills in their chosen fields.
He said if the issue was not urgently addressed, it would affect the level of progress corps members were making in learning; as well as perfecting the skills they were being taught.
“In spite of the challenges we face, our Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme has been able to train more than two million youths in the last four years.
“We train them in skills such as; food processing, education, film and photography, construction and automobile.
“Other areas are: power and energy, environment, horticulture and landscaping, cosmetology, aggro-allied, ICT, culture and tourism.
“We train them in these skills so that they do not need to go looking for white collar jobs; but become self -employed and employers of labor.
“In the fashion designing class we have over 300 corps members and they are using only three sewing machines; you can imagine how in-effective such training will be.
“We urge well-meaning Nigerians and the private sector to support us with materials such as: sewing machines, clothing materials, poultry and feed, electricity generating set and aluminium cutting machines.
“We also need make-up box, computer set, inverters, solar modules, paint making chemicals, tiling cement and many other materials for the various skills set we train corps members in,” Salawu said.
He also said that the NYSC was currently training the corps members in 12 skills set including: ICT, aggro-allied, culture and tourism, education, cosmetology and automobile.
Others are: construction, power and energy, film and photography, food processing, horticulture and landscaping and environment.
He added that the SAED programme was introduced by the scheme to assist the Federal Government to address the problem of unemployment in the country.
He said that although the problem was faced not only by Nigeria but the world over, Nigeria faced a greater problem due to the large population.
Salawu urged the Federal Government to replicate the strategies used by developed nations “which is investing in the youths for national development.’’
NAN reports that the SAED programme was introduced by the NYSC in 2012 to train corps members in various skills to enable them become self- reliant and employers of labor.
Corps members are introduced to the programme immediately they commence the orientation course and after the training they can receive loans from various financial institutions to start up their businesses.
The Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BoI), Bank of Agriculture and Heritage bank are some of the institutions giving out start up loans to corps members