Education stakeholders expressed their support for the laws establishing the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Trust Fund and the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Trust Fund yesterday.
The stakeholders who spoke out in support of the two measures at the House of Representatives Committee on Youth Development’s public hearing claimed it would assist in addressing the unemployment situation.
‘A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Youth Commission’ is the title of the proposed legislation.
Hon. Samuel Akinfolarin and Hon. Farah Dagogo sponsored the Service Corps Trust Fund and a Bill for an Act to Make Provision for the Establishment of a Youth Entrepreneurship Development Trust Fund, respectively.
Maj. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, Director-General NYSC, stressed the importance of the Trust Fund in his presentation, adding that if it is established, it will engage and empower corps members at the end of their service by making them self-reliant.
He urged Nigerians to support the law, stressing that corps members were eager to give their all if the bill was supported.
While declaring his support for the bills, Prof Osunbor Oserheimen, a former Governor of Edo State, emphasized the importance of paying attention to their sourcing.
“This bill is commendable, and I support its passage by the National Assembly. Nevertheless, I urge this committee to pay particular attention to the sourcing and utilisation of funds, part of which I have addressed. This is to avoid the abuses that have been associated in recent times with Trust Funds by officials who see them as slush funds to feed their avarice. This calls for caution in order that the good intention behind this bill is not defeated,” he said.
Hon. Yemi Adaramodu, Chairman of the House Committee on Youth Progress, stated that the bill will engage youngsters in order to bring development.
He advocated for NYSC staff training and retraining, as well as skill acquisition for corps members.
While opening the session, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila encouraged his colleagues to ensure that their proposals take into account all the circumstances and represent a well-considered consideration of objective realities and options.
Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the House Leader, Hon Alhassan Ado Doguwa, said that while the goals of both bills are admirable, lawmakers should be cautious when considering proposals that impose a permanent obligation on limited public funds, given that the country is heavily in debt to meet its basic obligations.