The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has flagged off this year’s Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Festival to exhibit Corp members’ work with the aim to support them and attract investors.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Corp’s Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Emeka Mgbemena on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that the goal of SAED had not been achieved as many Youth Corp members dump the skills acquired during service year as a result of inadequate financing.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, NYSC
Director-General, Brigadier Shuaibu Ibrahim said, the festival was a platform for showcasing the innovation and ingenuinety of Corps Members, who have keyed into the vision of raising a crop of young entrepreneurs that would not only strive in the development of small and medium scale enterprises, but also inspire other youths towards self-employment.
Furthermore, the NYSC Boss disclosed that the event would be an illustration of the functionality and growing acceptance of the SAED training, as well as the enormous potentials of the Corps Members.
He added that, it would also be an avenue for peer review and improvement of their creativity and business ideas.
Reeling out his Achievements in solidifying the SAED Programme, the Director General said on his assumption of office, he hosted the NYSC SAED Stakeholders’ meeting in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
He also renewed commitment by NYSC and the Bank of Industry towards the resuscitation of the empowerment of Corps Entrepreneurs with business loans under the BOI-NYSC Graduate Empowerment Fund (GEF).
Ibrahim also said the Corp partnered with Leventis Foundation Nigeria on Youth Empowerment in Sustainable Agriculture through year-long training and apprenticeship.
It also collaborated with the British-American Tobacco Foundation on empowerment of Corps Members with agricultural skills and business trainings, farm intenship, mentoring and farm input supplies, among others.
Speaking further, the DG expressed confidence that the gains of SAED programme will be enhanced if the proposed National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSCTF) becomes a reality.
He said apart from providing adequate facilities for more impactful vocational and entrepreneurship trainings, the festival would also be a sustainable source of business financing for the Corps Members.
He therefore urged the contesting Corps participants to drive their business visions with passion for individual benefit and the growth of the nation’s economy.
In his opening remark, the Director, Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme, Mr Hilary Nasamu said a total of 222 skill competitors will engage themselves in a process that will produce three top prize winners in each of the skills.
The festival which will last for three days had in attendance Corp participants from different states across the country in compete in the display of skills in fashion design, baking/confectionaries, leatherworks, beadmaking, tie and dye, as well as Information and Communication Technology.