Corps members have been advised to exploit the ingenuity of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, scheme to create good future for themselves.
The Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Suleiman Zakare Kazaure, gave the advice in his address to the 2018 Batch ‘C’ (Stream 1) corps members at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Ikare Akoko, Ondo State.
He reasoned that considering the abundance of huge natural resources available in all parts of the country, corps members should not wait for white collar jobs which he said were reducing by the day.
His words: “My dear children in the national service, your creativity is needed to survive the economic realities of the modern day Nigeria. You need to use your hands more these days to put food on your table.
“Of a truth, you are all brandishing academic certificates which is a foundation to greatness but I need to add that you need to go extra miles during the service year to earn the respect of those who are looking up to you to put smiles on their faces and the way out is for you to actively engage in the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme introduced six years ago by this noble Scheme.
“Let me tell you my patriotic corps members, NYSC is passionate and more concerned about what becomes of you during and after the service year. While paid employment is moving at a snail speed or succinctly put, at arithmetic level, individuals’ responsibility is moving up geometrically and you need to strike a balance to stay afloat.”
Kazaure praised the resilience of successive corps members for embracing the initiative which he said had lifted several corps members out of struggling lines and made them successful employers of labour.
“I am sure that during the flag off of SAED programme on camp, both serving corps members and those that have completed their service and are now successful entrepreneurs and managers of small and medium scale enterprises testified to their success stories as a result of SAED,” he said.
Kazaure who was represented by the Director, Human Resource Management, Alhaji Abdulrazak Abdulsalam Salawu, charged the corps members to improve the lives of children and youths in the course of discharging their needed services to the nation.
“It is more beneficial and rewarding to put smiles on the faces of indigent children and youths whose hopes are hanging in the balance. Your little investment in their lives may be the turning point needed to make them budding and successful career or business personalities,” he stated.
He advised the corps members to be wary of friends or groups they move with during the service year as ‘many wolves are in sheep clothing’.
He warned them to take care of their personal security and refrain from embracing free gifts from people they hardly knew.
“There are evil minded people in the society but I pray you will not be victims of their dastardly acts,” he prayed.
On the general elections coming up next year in which all the corps members would be engaged as ad-hoc staff by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kazaure said that the corps members should allow their conscience to rule their heads.
“NYSC has become a credible partner which INEC cannot do without and this synergy is hinged on the integrity of the service corps and the good name built by your predecessors. Ensure you do not soil your hands as temptations are high from those who may want to take advantage of your youthful exuberance.
“The law of the land does not protect anyone who subverts free, fair and credible elections. I admonish you to be above board before, during and after elections. Our duty is to return you back safely to your parents and loved ones at the end of the service year and we shall strive within all legal means not to fail the nation on this onerous responsibility”.
He commended the State Coordinator, Mrs. Grace Akpabio, and her team for their dedication and commitment.
He said it was noteworthy that they created an environment devoid of rancour and pandemonium which was evident in the excellent conduct of the corps members.
Earlier in her welcome address, the State Coordinator, Akpabio reported that the registered corps members made up of 989 males and 1001 females had adapted well to the camp programmes and activities.
Mrs. Akpabio who is known as ‘Mrs. Consolidator’ for improving tremendously on the achievements of her predecessors enumerated some steps taken by her management to improve on the quality of facilities at the camp.
“Some of the measures put in place include the procurement of additional 200 plastic chairs for the use of corps members and purchase of 6500 watts TEC Power Generating Set for the Press and Public Relations Unit to enhance their operations during camp programmes and activities,” she said.
She however appealed to the Director General to assist the secretariat by providing an auditorium befitting the present status of the scheme in the state.
“There is a need to build a standard auditorium with sitting capacity of 3000 for lectures and other indoor activities as the existing one has become grossly inadequate as a result of ever increasing corps population.”
The Director General was treated to cultural display by selected corps members after which SAED presented gifts and the Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS) Editorial Board gave out Sunshine Voice, a newsletter produced on camp to commemorate the 365 days of the giant strides of Mrs. Grace Akpabio in Ondo State.