By Rosemary Ogbonnaya
Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Tijjani Muhammad Bande, has hailed the National Youth Service Corps as a well-thought-out initiative for engagement of youths in the nation’s developmental strides.
He made the remarks recently when he paid a courtesy visit on the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, in his office.
Bande stressed that matters of youth development were central to the progress of any country, adding that Nigeria had through the NYSC, demonstrated recognition of youths as critical assets.
The diplomat, who noted that the Scheme had broadened the knowledge of youths about the country and instilled patriotic zeal in them, also expressed delight at its current focus on the empowerment of Corps Members for self-employment.
He commended Ibrahim for his achievements since taking office as Chief Executive of the Scheme.
Earlier, the Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, briefed his guest about the various strides of his administration, including the reinvigoration of the NYSC Ventures and the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme.
Ibrahim said in an unprecedented feat, the Scheme remitted over one billion Naira generated as revenue from its various ventures to the federal account between 2020 and 2021.
The Director-General further stated that in a bid to enhance the credibility of the mobilization process and safeguard the nation’s education system, the Scheme held separate meetings with Corps Producing Institutions based in some African countries as well as relevant Nigerian regulatory and professional bodies during which measures were evolved to address the identified problems.
He spoke of the role of the NYSC in the fight against COVID-19 through Corps Members’ activities such as public sensitization as well as production and distribution of face masks, hand sanitizers and liquid soap amongst others.
Ibrahim also enumerated other achievements, including the completion of NYSC North-West and South-West Zonal Skill Acquisition Centres and commencement of work on the one for the North Central; publication of nine books on the achievements of the Scheme; the establishment of a museum; the process of establishing the NYSC Radio, which is at advanced stage; and the construction of NYSC Printing Press in Kaduna.
The UN Ambassador was taken on a guided tour of some sections of the NYSC Headquarters complex, including the newly established museum, the studio of the proposed NYSC Radio, and the site of the ICT Centre under construction.
He was accompanied on the visit by the Director, International Organizations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Samson Itegboje.