NYSC partners with tertiary institution on entrepreneurship programme
Na’ankwat Dariem, Abuja
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is partnering with the Obafemi Awolowo University on a $1 million grant for the implementation of the Design and Impact of Apprenticeship-bases Entrepreneurship Intervention programme in Nigeria.
The grant is provided by the International Development for Research Centre (IDRC).
The Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Simeone Adebayo Bamire, who was represented by a member of the Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies, OAU, Dr. Olufumilayo Banjo, at a one-day workshop on the Policy Report on in Abuja, said the institution was entrusted with the grant because of its track record in fund management.
“The IDRC grant is about a million dollars grant and it’s basically it the institution that manages this grant. OAU has a record of proper grant management over the years. The management is involved in the management of any grant that is brought in the name of the University.”
According to Professor Bamire, the institution has been part of the process that led to the granting of the $1m grant for the project. “We have been part of this programme right from the beginning from the time the proposal was written till the grant came in.“
He urged the government to provide capital for young entrepreneurs in order to solve the challenge of unemployment which will turn impact on the economy.
“I believe that we can overcome the unemployment challenge we have in Nigeria. From the presentation, the major issue that is not allowing these young people to go into entrepreneurial employment is the issue of lack of capital. So I believe if our government rise up to the task and capital is made available to these young people. you will be surprised what they will put on the table at the end of the day,“ he said.
The Assistant Director of Research, National Centre, Abiodun Egbetokun, for Technology Management (NACETEM), who doubles as the Co-Principal, Research Project, called for more support from the private sector in funding research projects in Nigeria.
Egbetokun applauded NYSC noting that the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme of the NYSC, is doing a lot to create entrepreneurs out of the huge number of unemployed young people.
“The private sector shouldn’t leave it to the government alone. Our major challenge is funding: we are not necessarily interested in government funding that much; it is about the private sector partnering with the government to make things work. Our research project has been funded by a foreign government. So one would want to ask why can’t big business consortiums fund research projects.”
He further stressed that “This will help to make SAED better, though it may look a bit complex but when you consider that the purpose of SAED is to support the promotion of youth employment in Nigeria it becomes easy to understand that aim is important. Right now more than half of our population is under the age 19 around 70% is under 30
“Unemployment in the 25-34 age bracket is one of the highest in Africa. This is the time people need the youth service, so if we can make SAED work effectively then overcoming the burden of implementation in Nigeria becomes a much easier job for the government.”
A Former Director of SAED, Mr Hillary Nasamu called for more empowerment for the young people through the NYSC SAED programme.
“So what Nigeria is missing in it’s developmental policy and agenda is the emphasis on youth development so definitely the program of the NYSC is intended to address that gap with trained Corp members in all areas of entrepreneurship irrespective of the certificate they hold.”
He emphasised the need for every corp member who is empowered must show evidence that they have empowered four other youths in the community where they are located.
“So when you look at the multiplier effect of all these you would know that anything directed in the area of youth empowerment is well directed and this is what I want the government to focus on.”