NYSC seeks land to expand skill programme in South-East
By Olisemeka Obeche (With Agency report)
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) says it is seeking to expand its skill acquisition programme by building an ultra-modern skill acquisition facility within Enugu metropolis.
The new coordinator of NYSC in Enugu state, Mr Stephen Dewan, who made the disclosure in Enugu on Wednesday noted that the land being sought from the Enugu state government would be about two hectares to contain the massive skill acquisition centre that would serve the five states in the zone.
“We want a centre that will have boarding facilities for both the trainers and trainees, who are the corps members, as well as house the numerous equipment and instructional materials for the training. We have written and recently re-written a reminder to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for this land, and we want it within and very close to the metropolis for accessibility,’’ he said.
The coordinator noted that NYSC had met with Access Bank that had graciously agreed to build and furnish the centre as well as hand it over to the scheme to use as part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“When the centre comes on stream, due to the number of corps members for post skill acquisition training; it will take them from each state by turns; on a month or two months intensive skill and crafts training. It will even serve the youth from the immediate host communities and state to have where they can learn a skill and get trade certification as well,’’ he said.
Dewan said the scheme was partnering with the Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria, Credit Direct and NYSC Foundation to get interest-free loans for the corps members, who had passed through the programme.
“Presently, we have interest-free soft-loans with free-collateral given to Corps members that have passed through the scheme’s skill acquisition programme,” he said.
“All the corps members need to collect the soft-loan which might be between N50,000 and N500,000 as given by Credit Direct; while depositing his or her NYSC Discharge Certificate until he or she would pay back’’.
The coordinator said free-interest loan in the programme had been going on smoothly in the state, adding that it was only recently that the programme had 61 past corps members who defaulted. “However, we are optimistic that they will still pay, given that their NYSC Discharge Certificates are still with the credit facility providers and even the NYSC, has been monitoring them,’’ he added.