Nigeria’s first lady, Aisha Buhari has called on financial institutions to grant more access to credit facilities to Corps members.
The first lady who stated this on Friday during the closing ceremony of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme festival in Abuja, said that the loan will help Corps Members to utilize their skills.
Speaking on the theme, “NYSC SAED: A Gateway to National Development’‘, the First Lady who was represented by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, commended NYSC for sustaining the SAED festival since its maiden edition in 2017.
“This occasion underscores the fact that the scheme in its 48 years of existence has continued to play a significant role in our nation building, especially in promoting national unity and providing manpower in critical sectors of the economy.
“The current focus on youth entrepreneurship through the SAED has taken the scheme’s relevance to a higher level.
I therefore, call on captains of industry and financial institutions to grant more access to credit facilities and venture capital to these Corp members.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare also commended NYSC for the initiative and efforts in sustaining the SAED project .
Dare who was represented by the Director, Network and Social Mobilization, Mrs.
Amina Mohammed stated that the introduction of SAED into NYSC scheme has helped fresh graduates to be self-reliant by creating employment opportunities for them instead of seeking for white collar jobs that are scarce.
In his address, NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim disclosed that since the institutionalisation of the SAED programme, about one million, four hundred and nine thousand (1,409,000) Corps Members have been sensitized on the need for self-empowerment.
“Out of these, seven hundred and sixty-four thousand, six hundred and seventy-seven hundred (764,677) have so far completed the full skill and entrepreneurship training while up to eighteen thousand six hundred and eighty-two (18,682) have set up businesses through self-help, bank loans and grants from donors.
However, he said despite the successes there are some challenges which include the shortage of logistics for training and the limited funding opportunities that see only a fraction of these Corps entrepreneurs able to access start-up capital.
“This partly informed the proposal for the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSCTF).
On his part, the director, SAED, Mr Hilary Nasamu said the closing ceremony are the culmination of activities which have been taking place in the past 3 days which include series of skill competitions in Fashion and Design, ICT, Tie/Dye, Cake Baking and Decoration, Shoe making/leather works, Bead stringing and designing between Corps competitors from the 37 NYSC Secretariat, nationwide.
Aisha Buhari urges institutions to provide loans to Corp members