Stories by John Oba
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Coordinator Mr. Ballama Bello Birmiwa, has stated that the 2017 batch ‘B’ stream II corps members will be posted to farms as part of efforts to encourage them to key into the present government agricultural drives.
He also warned that the scheme will no longer tolerate corps members dictating a place to be posted to, as the scheme is rejigging it posting policy to ensure that it comply with the vision of the scheme’s founding fathers.
Birmiwa, stated this on Friday, while speaking to Blueprint during the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) closing ceremony at the orientation camp Kubwa.
He said: “Our farm system is as old as the system itself, but for one reason or the other, agric was relegated to the background and recently, the leadership of the scheme in line with the idealism of the federal government, places emphasises on agriculture and we are posting corps members there, and we will train them so that they can be self reliant and be great agriculturalists through the NYSC. So we will post them to farms certainly and they would go there and help,” he said.
On corps rejection, he said the scheme will work on it, saying organisations have to accept the responsibility.
“The posting policy says, organisations will request for the services of corps members, then they would have to offer them accommodation, then little allowance to boost their moral, provide transportation or means of transportation. Just that some of the employers are not ready, they just want to engage the corps members either freely or cheaply. The fault is from the employers, though we are trying to mitigate the idea of corps members seeking for place themselves, on the process cheapping themselves.
“We are not ready to compromise the integrity of the scheme. We are working on the posting policy such that we will revert back to the former days where there was no rejection and the labour of the corps members appreciated. And we are appealing to employers not to reject at corps members, and if by chance they are rejecting any, they must give us reasons because our corps members are not cheap. So we are working to stop the rejection problem,” he assured.
The coordinator further commended the attitude of the corps members and how they were able to adjust to the life in the camp.
He said: “ If the attitude and mannerism of the corps members were not satisfactory, the ceremony to round off the SAED programme wouldn’t have been so beautiful. The speed at which they adjust to a camp like this, generally with all the regimented lives, show their commitment to the service.
“The zeal and commitment showed in learning the skill shows that whether there are plans to encourage them to practise what they learnt during the service or not, they will put all they learnt into good uses.
“It is clear that these corps members will practise what they learnt here. I am sure they would carry on, but ours is to encourage them in anyway possible, the scheme and all the facilitator will collaborate to help encourage the youth in whatever ways possible, and I am sure a day is coming that they would be begging them for white collar jobs if at all there is any. This is a promising beginning for them,” he said
The Managing director and CEO, AKG Global Multi-Services Limited, Hajia Aisha Kabiru Gaya however charged the corps members to aim thselve with skills in computer to make them self employed. They must be computer literate, because it is one of the contributing factors to the unemployment problem.
“Be computer literate and learn a trade, because the current social problem is not helping, many youth are indulging in social vices, like drug, prostitution so as to forget their worries, but if they learn computer, they can trade with that.
“Right now we are training the youth on how to be e-marketers. Now that Nigerian is focus on agriculture, they can engage in online agro marketing, we have platform for that,” she advised.
Corps members during the ceremony compete in several skill acquisition trainings ranging from fashion design, beed making, shoe making, catering, metal fabrication, solar power assemblage, among many others.