The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, says it held a low key passing-out ceremony nationwide for the 2016 Batch B Stream II set of corps members to ensure their safety by restricting movement.
Bello Ballama, the NYSC FCT Coordinator, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday after addressing corps members at the Orientation Camp, Kubwa.
He said that the scheme has for some years observed a low key Passing-Out Parade (POP) in order not to risk the lives of corps members especially in parts of the country where it was not safe.
Mr. Ballama, however, assured that the scheme hoped to resume the usual annual passing-out ceremony as soon as it was safe to do so.
He urged the corps members to put into practice all they have learnt during the service year especially the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme, SAED.
Mr. Ballama also urged the corps members to remain good citizens, abide by the country’s laws and stay away from negative behaviour and crime.
“The corps members are the leaders of tomorrow and the service year has been a learning ground for them; they have learned a lot.
“We exposed them to so many training including SAED which is meant to teach them skills that will make them equipped for life after the service year.
“This should reduce their search for white collar jobs that is not available and make them more self-reliant and independent,” Mr. Ballama said.
Anthony Dirisu, a corps member and graduate of Public Administration from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, said he achieved the aim of the service year by making friends from diverse cultures.
Mr. Dirisu hailed the aim of establishing the NYSC to promote national integration, adding that he has learned about other cultures and religions that he knew nothing about.
He said although he joined the Agro-Allied skills training of the NYSC SAED programme he would still make effort to look for a job as he did not have the funds to start up any business.
“The training I received was enough for me to start my business if I get the loan.
“Although the NYSC has said we can use our certificate as collateral to get loan I cannot give out my certificate because I do not know how sincere the scheme is about that.
“I will hold unto my certificate and look for a job instead,” Dirisu said.
Sabo Riticatmwa, a corps member and graduate of Leisure and Tourism Management from Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, said the service year was a success for her as she learned the skill of cosmetology.
She said cosmetology was the art of soap making and detergent production, adding that although she had the skills to start a business lack of funds remained her challenge.
According to Ms. Riticatmwa, it is the funds to start this business that will be the issue and I cannot drop my certificate to get loan.
“I rather try my best to source for the funds I need to start the business rather than drop my certificate as collateral to get loan,” Riticatmwa said.
NAN reports that the NYSC had earlier told newsmen that corps members interested in obtaining loan facility could do so using their certificates as collateral.
The financial institutions offering loan facilities to corps members include Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BoI), the NYSC Foundation and Heritage Bank, among others.
Some of the institutions offer the facility at zero interest rate and corps members whose business plans are approved can get loan to the tune of N400,000 to N2 million.
A total of 4,411 corps members passed-out from the 2016 Batch B Stream II service year in the FCT.
However, one corps member died from a brief illness, while 25 corps members have been given an extension of service for various infractions.
In Kebbi State, the NYSC extended the service year of seven Corps members by four months for breaching rules of the scheme
The NYSC State Coordinator, Lawal Turawa, made the disclosure on Thursday in Birnin Kebbi at the passing out ceremony of the 2016 batch B stream 2 held in the state.
“Seven corps members are to repeat service between two and four months while three males and one female corps members absconded and their next of kin have been contacted,” he said.
He said that discharge certificates were issued to 1,014 Corps members who successfully concluded their service in the state.
The coordinator congratulated the outgoing corps members while charging them to be good ambassadors of the country wherever they might find themselves.
He said the skills acquisition and vocational trainings they received during their orientation was enough to make them excel in the labour market.
He said: “Try to be good ambassador of Kebbi state and NYSC. Try to ensure that you are moving with people of good character, don’t join bad company.
“Ensure that you don’t engage in cutting corners because it is dangerous and risky.
“All the vocational trainings you were exposed to during your orientation are enough to make you excel without wandering in a labour market which is already saturated.
He advised them to make use of the training and lectures received while in service, adding “on behalf of NYSC Director General, I congratulate all of you and wish you the best of luck in all your endeavours.”