THE National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) said about 764,677 corps members have completed full skill and entrepreneurship training under the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) program of the scheme, its Director-General, Brig. General Shuaibu Ibrahim, has said.
Brig. General Ibrahim, disclosed18,682 had set up businesses through self-help, bank loans and grants from donors after completing the SAED program.
Ibrahim said these on Friday during the closing ceremony of the 2021 NYSC SAED festival which was held in Abuja.
He said that 1,409,000 corps have been sensitised on the need for self-empowerment since the commencement of the SAED programme.
Ibrahim said the SAED programme was instituted in 2012 as a platform for the NYSC to contribute towards tackling the challenge of unemployment amongst the teeming graduate youths.
The NYSC DG said corps members, in successive batches, have shown more than a passing interest in the SAED programme which had helped many to establish and successfully nurture their own businesses.
He said, “Since the institutionalisation of the SAED programme, up to 1.409,000 corps members have been sensitised on the need for self-empowerment. Out of these, 764,677 have so far completed the full skill and entrepreneurship training while up to 18,682 have set up businesses through self-help, bank loans and grants from donors.
“Of course, there is no gainsaying the fact that the panacea against this challenge is to steer the mindset of our youths away from the mirage of white collar job to that of entrepreneurial engagement.
“As a scheme, we consider this as even more compelling in view of the fact that the period of national service is designed to serve as a buffer for youths as they transit from school life to the realities of mainstream society.
“Thus, we have continued in our strides for the success of the programme with the support of partners such as the Bank of Industry, Access Bank, Unity Bank, Leventis Foundation Nigeria, British-America Tobacco Foundation and others too numerous to mention. Parts of the gains of our collaborations are empowerment of corps members with financial grants and loans for the actualisation of their business plans as well as the establishment of zonal skills training centres across the country.”