The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Osun has charged corps members undergoing orientation to endeavour to learn a skill during their stay in the camp to be self-reliant after the mandatory service period.
Mr Adegoke Ayodele, the Osun Coordinator of NYSC, gave the charge on Monday at the opening ceremony of the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme at the NYSC permanent orientation camp, Ede.
Ayodele said NYSC, concerned with the increasing rate of unemployment among Nigerian graduates, introduced SAED programme for graduates to learn a skill, be self-reliant and be employers of labour.
“Concerned by the troubling unemployment situation, the NYSC SAED programme was set up to build capacity of corps members to gain the required entrepreneurship and hands-on skills to cope with the challenges of unemployment in the global economy,’’ he said.
Ayodele said the objective of the SAED programme was to assist corps members to cultivate the culture of entrepreneurship and income generation practices.
The NYSC coordinator said it was also to create wealth from the situation around them, and to gain technical assistance in job search, among others.
Ayodele said the SAED programme would afford corp members to be economically active as entrepreneurs or be self-employed in their own business, exploring business opportunities rather than seeking elusive paid employment.
He said a 30-hour period in nine days had been dedicated to SAED training for corps members during their 21 days in-camp orientation.
The coordinator said that business skills like Agro-Allied, Cosmetology, Automobile, construction, beautification and others skills would be taught.
Also, Mrs Olutayo Samuel, NYSC Deputy Director, and Head of Osun NYSC SAED, encouraged the corps members to participate in the skills acquisition programme to add the skill as another source of income generation.
Samuel said NYSC was particular about empowering corps members, adding that lots of corps members who had passed through the SAED programme, were now entrepreneurs (through the skills acquired).
She said that those corps members were now teaching and training others.
According to Samuel, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry have put a programme in place to provide interest-free startup loans for the corps members that apply for the funds.
She urged them to take advantage of the provided opportunities to establish themselves as entrepreneurs