Home Youth service 764,677 corps members completed entrepreneurship training, NYSC CEO says

764,677 corps members completed entrepreneurship training, NYSC CEO says

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Approximately 764,677 corps members have completed comprehensive skills and entrepreneurship training through the National Youth Service Corps Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Program, its Chief Executive Officer, Brigadier. General Shuaibu Ibrahim said.

According to him, 18,682 started businesses through self-help, bank loans and donor grants after completing the SAED program.

Ibrahim said this on Friday during the closing ceremony of the NYSC SAED 2021 festival held in Abuja.

He said 1,409,000 bodies have been sensitized on the need for empowerment since the start of the SAED program.

Ibrahim said the SAED program was instituted in 2012 as a platform for the NYSC to help address the challenge of unemployment among teeming young graduates.

The NYSC CEO said that the corps members, in successive batches, showed more than fleeting interest in the SAED program which has helped many people successfully start and grow their own businesses.

He said: “Since the institutionalization of the SAED program, up to 1,409,000 members of the body have been sensitized to the need for empowerment. Of these, 764,677 have so far completed the full skills and entrepreneurship training, while up to 18,682 have established businesses through self-help, bank loans and donor grants.

“Of course, it is undeniable that the panacea against this challenge is to shift the mindset of our young people from the mirage of white-collar work to that of entrepreneurial commitment.

“As a program, we find this all the more compelling as the period of national service is designed to act as a buffer for young people as they transition from school life to the realities of society at large.

“Thus, we have continued our efforts for the success of the program with the support of partners such as Bank of Industry, Access Bank, Unity Bank, Leventis Foundation Nigeria, British-America Tobacco Foundation and others too many to mention. Part of the gains from our collaborations is the empowerment of corps members with grants and financial loans for the actualization of their business plans as well as the establishment of zonal skills training centers across the country.

Ibrahim said the festival was a celebration of the evolving success of the SAED program.

Bank of Industry Managing Director Olukayode Pitan said more than 10,000 Nigerians have so far benefited from its programs to develop small businesses.

He said the bank, with the support of its partners, has provided start-up loans to members of the corps.

Pitan said, “We have disbursed 5.3 billion naira in start-up loans for around 1,000 participants. Over 10,000 Nigerians selected through the Business Ideas Competition have been trained in entrepreneurship and business management.

“In order to improve the performance of corporate finance under this program, several measures have been put in place such as the creation of business links, the establishment of a mentoring program and an improved framework for monitoring efficient projects.

“Despite the obvious challenges in the business environment, BOI’s youth programs have produced very successful entrepreneurs.

“The bank has therefore decided to further support these companies so that they reach their full potential by providing financial and advisory services to develop their operations.

“To this end, successful businesses within the youth programs have identified themselves with the aim of providing them with business advisory services to grow their operations.”

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