I was elated by a piece of news I stumbled on recently about the proposed National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSC-TF). Initially, I thought it was the usual government rush in proposing policies to attract media attention without any clear cut direction regarding benefits that are accruable to the nation. But I was wrong.
This was different hence my excitement. Brilliant is an understatement because of the positives that could be derived if the proposed NYSC Trust Fund is appropriately implemented. We are looking at a potential game-changer in addressing youth unemployment in the country, and for the first time, I saw hope for this country.
The future of young Nigerians has finally been considered in proposing a trust fund that would serve as that medium where young Nigerians can actualize their potentials and enrich the economic space with businesses and innovations that would change things for the better.
The impact would be felt across the board, so much so that Nigeria would be better for it. This is indeed a plus for the promoters of this laudable initiative that caters for young Nigerians involved in the mandatory service year and even after they have concluded their service year.
To put it simply, any country that does not initiate measures towards harnessing the potential of its youthful population is doomed. Such a country would continue to live on the brinks till it collapses because the strategic importance of the youths to socio-economic development cannot be overemphasized.
It is a well-known fact that the youth of any country is a great asset. They are indeed the country’s future and represent it at every level.
The role of youths in nation-building is more important than you might think. In other words, the intelligence and work of the youth will take the country on the pathway of success. As every citizen is equally responsible, the youth is too. They are the building blocks of a country.
The youth can bring social reform and improvement to society. We cannot make do without the youth of the country. Furthermore, the country requires their participation to achieve the goals and help take the country towards progress. If this remains factual, then it behoves the government to initiate policies and programmes to help the youth of our country achieve their potential.
The NYSC-TF perfectly fits the narrative of addressing unemployment, youth restiveness and other issues that bring about socio-economic stagnation and with the benefit of hindsight, one could imagine the gains that would have been recorded in the country if this policy had been introduced some years back. I recall during my service year in 2016, we had amongst us brilliant chaps that were innovative and industrious but with no support to take their enterprise to the next level, and I suppose most of them have caved into the pressure of making ends meet in the society and the elusive search for white-collar jobs.
I also recall that the reward for exceptional performance during our service year was automatic employment into the civil service, and that was it. Emphasis was not placed on harnessing the entrepreneurship potentials of this subset of active and energetic people burning alive with ideas and innovations that can move mountains.
I am glad that with the coming of the NYSC-TF, the country’s leadership seems to have woken up from its slumber. As much as I will commend the leadership of the NYSC, particular emphasis must be made on the critical support provided by the Muhammadu Buhari administration through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
We might not fully grasp the endless opportunities inherent in the NYSC-TF yet. From what I have read, it is guaranteed to churn out entrepreneurs who would create jobs and take the country to the next level. And some of us could only wish that such initiatives were introduced during our time. Nonetheless, it is a good one for every young person in Nigeria.
The multiplier effect of this brilliant initiative would be felt across the board. And the country would experience tremendous improvement in our socio-economic wellbeing. That this is also coming when countries are looking at creative ways to bring about meaningful development is a testament that a lot is going on within the administrative and policy drive of the government.
Governments must do more to ensure young people have the opportunities and tools necessary to succeed. NYSC Trust Fund has all it takes for the government to change the narrative. The future is indeed bright, and I urge all young people in Nigeria to see this as that golden opportunity to maximize towards translating their hopes and aspirations into tangible realities.
Nigeria’s burgeoning youth population provides a huge social, economic and political capital required to drive the nation’s development. This much should guide our efforts towards seeing to the actualization of this laudable initiative. The National Assembly must show commitment in ensuring that the bill is passed into law.
I can only imagine the enormous benefits that would accrue to the country when the NYSC-TF takes shape. I can only imagine the smiles on the faces of our teeming youthful population whose burgeoning spirit is ready to take flight given the right atmosphere. And the NYSC-TF is indeed positioned to provide that atmosphere that is required.
I urge all stakeholders to lend their voices to this laudable initiative because we all would be beneficiaries in one way or the other. The urgency now requires all hands to be on deck as we begin the march towards sustainable growth and development. This is indeed a victory for every young person in Nigeria.
• is a postgraduate student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
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