The Coalition of Unemployed Graduates in Nigeria (CUGN) has applauded the bill seeking to create the National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund, noting that it has the potential to generate one million jobs annually if passed into law.
The group, which made this known today at a press conference in Abuja, also said the Trust Fund will potentially address youth unemployment and enhance economic prosperity.
In his address, convener, Comrade Emmanuel Odenmalu, said the Trust Fund is a unique opportunity for the country to harness the potentials of its bustling youthful population for sustainable growth and development.
According to Odenmalu, if passed, the NYSC Trust Fund will provide “funding mediums for our teeming youths in the country in furtherance of its Skill and Entrepreneurship Development initiative for corp members while in service and after service”.
Comrade Odenmalu, therefore, thanked the NYSC for conceiving the idea, adding that it is a “function of strategic thoughts on rejigging our job creation drive towards socio-economic development”.
While commending the National Assembly for ensuring that the bill passed second reading, the group urged the legislators to ensure its speedy passage.
The youths, however, urged “Nigerians from all walks of life to lend their support to the proposed NYSC Trust Fund bill as the benefits are innumerable and of great concern to the teeming youths in the country”.
Read full statement below:
We welcome you all to this press conference in light of the recent happenings in the country regarding the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in addressing youth unemployment in the country.
We must admit that these are indeed trying times in the country with the escalating number of graduates from our tertiary institutions without meaningful forms of employment. These figures keep rising daily, and it is expedient that concerted efforts must be made to address this societal challenge.
We must also admit that Nigerian youths are industrious and able to bring about innovations that translate to wealth creation. In our opinion, this has not been possible because successive governments did not create an enabling environment neither were policies introduced to address the national concern.
This consequently gave rise to more and more unemployed graduates roaming the streets searching for jobs that have remained elusive. The attendant implication is the resort to crime and other forms of criminality to make ends meet.
As an association, our joy knew no bounds when the National Youth Service Corps leadership proposed a Trust Fund to aim to provide funding mediums for our teeming youths in the country in furtherance of its Skill and Entrepreneurship Development initiative for corp members while in service and after service.
It is thus a statement of the fact that the NYSC Trust Fund, when passed into law, has the potential to create one million jobs annually. This is on the heels that universities and polytechnics admit close to 2 million students each academic year and produce about 600,000 graduates.
A cursory analysis of the number of graduates that passes through the NYSC scheme yearly and if a modest 300,000 of such graduates are equipped with skills and funds to startup businesses; the impact would be tremendous as the multiplier effect would be felt across the country.
It is instructive to state that we might not understand that once this number of agile population is left in limbo, the effect would also be felt across the country most negatively.
The Coalition of Unemployed Graduates in Nigeria sees the NYSC Trust Fund as that unique opportunity for the country to harness the potentials of the bustling youthful population in the country into strength in our quest for sustainable growth and development.
The urgency of now requires that all hands be on deck to address the unemployment crisis in the country. And the unique offering proposed in the NYSC Trust Fund is a source of joy for the Coalition of Unemployed Graduates in Nigeria.
Our opinion is that the NYSC Trust Fund is long overdue. The benefits that would be derived would go a long way in addressing youth unemployment. It would also contribute a great deal to economic prosperity in the country.
We are using this medium to express our gratitude to the leadership of the National Youth Service Corp for proposing this brilliant initiative which, in our opinion, is a function of strategic thoughts on rejigging our job creation drive towards socio-economic development.
It must also be stated that the contributions to the national development of the youths would take centre stage as the country would record tangible innovations and businesses that would set the country on the path of greatness once again.
We must not fail to appreciate the members of the National Assembly in their laudable efforts in ensuring that the NYSC Trust Fund bill scaled second reading. The robust deliberations on the floor of the House of Representatives indeed give hope to the millions of youths that stand to benefit from this laudable initiative if passed into law.
We do not doubt the commitment of the National Assembly as the passing into law of the NYSC Trust Fund is a national concern that must be accorded the necessary urgency it deserves. We also wish to inform the members of the House of Representatives to be open-minded when it receives submission from well-meaning Nigerians at the public hearing of the bill due to the avalanche of positive reviews arising from the introduction of the bill in recent times.
We, therefore, call on Nigerians from all walks of life to lend their support to the proposed NYSC Trust Fund bill as the benefits are innumerable and of great concern to the teeming youths in the country.
As an organization, our support remains unflinching. We wish to state that this is indeed one of the best decisions by the Muhammadu Buhari administration in addressing youth unemployment in the country.
We remain optimistic that at the end of the day, the NYSC Trust Fund bill would receive the speedy attention that it deserves as it has been well received by the generality of Nigerians, especially parents and guardians that toiled day and night to ensure a better future for their children.
We once again commend all concerned stakeholders and make a passionate appeal to all and sundry to key into this game-changer in ensuring that Nigeria experiences a rebirth in our desire to translate the hopes and aspirations of our teeming youths into tangible realities.
We thank you all for your time and attention.