As stakeholders commences debate on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Trust Fund, the chairman, House Committee, on Youth an Sport, Adaramodu Yemi, has assured that the House will give the bill speedy attention when submitted for passage.
Adaramodu gave the assurance Monday while giving his goodwill message during the opening ceremony of the NYSC symposium on the imperatives of an NYSC Trust Fund, held in Abuja.
He said the symposium with the theme: “Consolidating the Gains of the NYSC in Youth Empowerment and National Development in the Face of Current Economic Realities: The Imperative of a Trust Fund,” is apt since the scheme is the melting pot of Nigeria unity and youth development.
Adaramodu said the House will continue to fight constitutionally to ensure that the scheme is sustained.
“On the fund, I want to assure that the House will expedite work to pass the bill when it gets to us,” he said.
Welcoming the guest, the director general, Brigadier General Suleiman Ibrahim, said the NYSCTF will help address infrastructural and other logistic needs for the smooth conduct of orientation courses, provision Corps Lodges, Corps Transit Camps and other essential facilities for the welfare of corps members.
He added that resources from the fund will support staff training for higher productivity as well as logistic requirements for special aspects of our Community Development Service such as the medical outreaches conducted under the NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers.
“Over the years, the exponential rise in Corps population has brought with it the demand for commensurate allocation of resources. While the states and local governments have demonstrated commitment to the discharge of their statutory obligations to the scheme, other equally pressing needs seem to make the resource allocation inadequate.
“As a consequence, the scheme contends with problems militating against its smooth operations, especially in the area of provision of start-up capital for Corps members trained during the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme (SAED), inadequate orientation camp facilities, inadequate accommodation for corps members, non-release of state subvention by some state governments and dwindling support for the Community Development Service.
“Since my assumption of office, I have made sustained advocacy engagement with stakeholders as part of my policy thrust. Amongst other steps, we convened a meeting of the NYSC top management with representatives of state governments, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria in 2019 and 2021. Part of the resolutions of the 2021 meeting is the proposal for the establishment of a dedicated fund that will be backed by law to complement resource allocation from the three tiers of government.
“The fund, which will be called the National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSCTF) is expected to strengthen the operations of the scheme in the same manner the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, the Police Equipment Trust Fund and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund aid the operations of tertiary educational institutions, the Nigeria Police as well as the oil and gas industry respectively,” he said.
While the declaring the symposium open, the Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammadu Bello, who was represented by Mrs Asabe Umaru, said establishment of an NYSC Trust Fund could not have come at a better time than now owing to the fact that the NYSC has capacity to drive Nigeria’s economic recovery process especially through the empowerment of its teeming youth, given the budding talents at its disposal. It therefore behooves on all to support laudable initiatives such as this.”