Group endorses NYSC Trust Fund Bill, hails Reps

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A pan Nigerian group, Conscience Nigeria (CN), has endorsed the proposed National Youth Service Corp Trust Fund, describing it as a “game-changer” in addressing youth unemployment and job creation in the country.

The group made this known in a statement made available to journalists by its Secretary-general, Bamidele Michael over the weekend, saying that the NYSC Trust Fund is laudable and would serve as an avenue for the federal government to address youth unemployment in the country.

It said: “The proposed NYSC Trust Fund is a game-changer. The provisions in the bill are well captured which indeed reflects the present realities in the country with regards generation of jobs and addressing a critical component of the population of the country.”

“The fact that the bill intends to provide startup capital for youths across the country while undergoing the mandatory service year and even after they leave service is well positioned to set the country on the path of sustainable growth and development,” the statement read.

The group further commended the leadership of the NYSC for displaying “great foresight” in proposing to establish a Trust Fund that would address the myriads of challenges facing the youthful population in the country, especially in the area of employment generation.

“The NYSC leadership deserves commendation for the display of foresight in this critical point of our existence. The opportunities in the establishment of the Trust Fund are innumerable. This is brilliant and well-positioned to serve as the medium for the rapid development of entrepreneurship amongst the teeming youthful population in the country. This is indeed a golden opportunity that the country must harness towards socio-economic development,” it noted.

The group also called on well-meaning individuals and groups in the country to rally support for the establishment of the NYSC Trust Fund in the interest of growth and development, owing to the strategic role of the youths in nation building.

“We call on well meaning individuals and groups to rally support for the establishment of the NYSC Trust Fund. This is a national concern positioned to be of immense benefit to the country. It would address unemployment; it would bring out the entrepreneurship potentials of our youths.

“The implication of having a bustling youthful population that is availed unhindered funds for the actualization of their potentials is ours for the taking. Not only shall the country experience rapid growth and development, but the burden placed on the shoulders of parents would also be lifted as youths would be actively engaged in economic ventures that would be beneficial to them and the society at large,” the group pointed out.

It therefore extended its commendation to the House of Representatives for how it had engaged deliberations on the bill on the floor, saying that the lawmakers displayed an “unalloyed commitment” to positively addressing youth unemployment in the country.

“The House of Representatives by their action that ensured the bill scaled through second reading is commendable. The deliberations on the floor of the lower chamber were rich and constructive. It indeed brought out the numerous merits of the bill. This is a display of an unalloyed commitment to national development.

“We encourage the members of the National Assembly not to relent in this commitment by ensuring that the bill gets speedy passage in the interest of the teeming youths in the country,” it urged.

It would be recalled that the proposed NYSC Trust Fund bill seeks to “provide a sustainable source of funding for NYSC, skill acquisition training and provision of startup capital to Corps members, train and retrain the personnel of the NYSC, develop camps, NYSC formations and provide facilities therein”.

Mayowa Akinfolarin, the sponsor of the bill, said the trust fund would help in promoting the spirit of self-reliance and entrepreneurship among Corps members. He said Corps members would be trained on various skills, making them establish self-sustainable businesses after completing their national service.

Akinfolarin said the trust fund would “improve the general welfare of Corps members and enhance their preparedness to effectively discharge their statutory duties of promoting national unity, integration, self reliance and accelerated development of the national economy”.

When passed into law, private organizations will contribute one percent of their net profit to the fund, while 0.2 percent of total revenue accruing to the federation account will be earmarked for the fund.

The bill has since been referred to the relevant committee of the House for further legislative inputs.

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