Jonathan offers employment to 167 youths
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan Monday offered automatic enjoyment to about 164 former members of the National Youths Service Corps ( NYSC) for distinguishing themselves in their service to their fatherland. Besides, he granted automatic federal government scholarship for those who might wish to further their studies up to doctoral degree level.
The President, who announced the gestures at the combined honors for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Presudent’s award winners of the scheme at the Banquel Hall State House, said, they were aimed boosting the morale of the both serving and prospective corps members.
The 164 winners, according to the Director-General of the NYSC, Bri.Gen. Johnson Bamidele Olawumi, were selected from the 613 nominations which were received from across the country within the period under review.
A break down of the figure shows that 55 won in 2012; 52 corps members for 2013 Service year while a total of 57 corps members won the award for the 2014 service year, which Jonathan described as marking a crowning point in the year-long service activities of the NYSC Scheme and Corps members to our fatherland.
Highlights of the event was the endorsement of the Hope Alive, a private initiative aimed at providing succor to injured members of the NYSC. For a start, nine injured members have been penciled down as the first set of beneficiaries.
Under the scheme, about N23.5 million has been realized. These include N5 million donated by the Managing Director of Ibeto Group of Companies; another N5 million from the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio to the nine injured and N1.5 million each to the nine injured corps members as donations by the Heritage Bank
According to Jonathan, the conferment of the President’s NYSC Honours Award on these worthy young men and women, who have diligently served the nation through the National Youth Service Corps Year, is an important moment in youth motivation. It is designed to highlight and promote the creative and innovative contribution of our youths, focused towards building a strong, virile, vibrant, united and prosperous Nigeria.
He noted that since its inception over forty-one years ago, the NYSC Scheme had continued to play a significant role in actualizing Nigeria’s quest for a united nation. In addition, it is also complementing vital manpower requirements in education, health, infrastructure development, entrepreneurship and critical skills
He lauded managers and successive batches of Corps members for the patriotic zeal with which they have sustained the cardinal programmes of the Scheme, since inception. “Above all, I salute the founding fathers of lthe NYSC whose ideals have not only continued to inspire successes of the noble Scheme, but also remained relevant in the developmental efforts of our great nation.
“The giant strides recorded by the scheme through its Community Development Projects have greatly contributed to improved living standards of our rural dwellers in all sectors. I urge States and Local Governments, to offer accelerated assistance to the Scheme on programmes of community and rural development and with special emphasis on Agriculture.”
He re-iterated his administration’s abiding faith and confidence in the ability of the Corps members and, indeed, the entire youths to sustain the unity and indivisibility of the country, noting, “You must at all times, work conscientiously and tirelessly for the cohesion of our country by regarding your compatriots as brothers with whom you share a common stake in progress and well-being.”
He commended the various efforts of the Ministry of Youth Development and the NYSC towards skills acquisition training. This includes youth entrepreneurship development initiatives aimed at job creation, enhanced service delivery and rural development
Worthy of note is the scheme’s collaboration with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs for the implementation of the War against Poverty a programme that has empowered over three hundred thousand Corps members with skills and follow-up loans for the establishment of agro-based businesses.
These collaborative efforts with other agencies towards actualizing the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda, demonstrates the adaptive capacity of the Scheme to identify with lofty programmes of Government.
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