NYSC Youth Trust Fund Must Never Be ‘Jobs For The Boys’ – Says HURIWA

Prominent Civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari and the relevant committees of the two Chambers of the National Assembly and relevant credible Civil rights bodies to be vigilant to ensure that when the structures and resources of the just approved National Youth Service Corps Youths Trust Fund are put in place, that only qualified personnel would be engaged purely on merit and professional competence to manage the fund and must on no account be treated as ‘CASHCOW’ for loyalists of the All Progressives Congress federal government.

HURIWA which worked round the clock carrying out strategic national advocacy campaigns calling for the setting up of the sub-agency under the National Youth Service Corps Youths Trust Fund conceptualised by the Immediate past Director General of the NYSC Major General Shuaibu Ibrahim, commended the National Assembly for meticulously working to approve the Bill to set up the fund but the Rights group was quick to warn against allowing the usual Nigerian factor to hijack the good intentioned funding platform that ought to support aggressive Youths skills capacity building support for greater economic growth and engagement of the young Nigerian graduates to become creators of national wealth.

“We are happy that at last the National Assembly has approved this all important legislation and it is hoped that President Muhammadu Buhari who has achieved most of his objectives for strengthening the NYSC since he became President will now go on to sign the bill into law so the proper functionality of the NYSC YOUTH TRUST FUND can be activated.”

HURIWA continued: “But there is the major fear that the fund may be hijacked by politicians through the active foisting of unqualified people to run and ruin the fund. This will eternally stain all the good efforts that President Muhammadu Buhari has made towards sustainability of the nearly 50 years old NYSC. The current management of the NYSC must never be allowed to convert this platform to a job manufacturing agency for boot lickers and political thugs but must put square pegs in square holes otherwise posterity won’t forgive them for any misjudgement and mismanagement of this all important fund”.

HURIWA through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko recalled with joy that the NYSC Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill was passed on Tuesday after its third reading during plenary. The Bill titled: National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2022 was equally passed by the House of Representatives in April 2022.

HURIWA recalled that the legislation is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund for the purpose of providing a Sustainable Source of Funds for the National Youth Service Corps, Skill Acquisition, Training and Empowerment of Corps Members, Training and Retraining of the Personnel of the National Youth Service Corps, Development of Camps and NYSC formations and Facilities therein; and for Related Matters.’

The trust fund is aimed at helping to address infrastructure deficits in the scheme and provide start-up capital for interested corps members to drive their business initiatives.

It will also help train and retrain NYSC personnel and develop camps and NYSC formations and provide facilities therein.

According to the sponsor of the bill, The proposed fund is to provide sustainable source of funds for NYSC, skill Acquisition training and provision of start-up capital to corps members,

“It will also Improve the general welfare of corps members and personnel of the scheme and enhance their preparedness to effectively discharge their statutory duties of promoting national unity, integration, self-reliance and accelerated development of the national economy.”

The trust Fund would be financed with a “levy of 1% of the net profit of companies and organised private sector operating business in Nigeria, a 0.2% of total revenue accruing to the federation account and any takeoff grant and special intervention fund as may be provided by the federal, state and local governments of the Federation.

Other sources of the funds include “such money as may be appropriated to meet the objective of this Act by the National Assembly in the budget; aids, grants and assistance from international bilateral and multilateral agencies, non-governmental organisations and the organised private sector; grants, donations, endowments, bequests and gifts, whether of money, land or any other property from any source; and money derived from investment made by the Trust Fund.”

HURIWA however said the new DG of NYSC who came after the entire background job for setting up the institution were put in place should be supported to ensure that the NYSC YOUTH TRUST FUND is dedicated to the mandates for which it was set up and the trouble is that Nigeria is in an election period and the tendency to smuggle in political thugs into the establishment is so high now than ever before.

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