By Adewale Banjo

Ondo State Coordinator of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Victoria Ani, has assured corps members that the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme established 12 years ago will take them to the promised land in terms of financial independence and economic viability.

The NYSC Ondo State boss gave the assurance while inspecting the SAED products put on display by the 2024 Batch ‘A’ (Stream 1) corps members during the exhibition and competition.

Ani, who was elated at what the corps members who joined various skills during the rigorous and extensive in-camp training showcased during the closing ceremony, said NYSC has laid solid foundation for the future of graduate youths.

“I am proud to say it to the world and announce it here today that NYSC is not only giving you the fish but has practically handed over to you all the apparatuses that you need to make a headway in the competitive world. Who would ever say in less than three weeks training, you can be this creative? I am proud of you all and I am equally fulfilled though my joy will be boundless if you take the post-camp training seriously as it will further assist you in getting to your dream destination,” she said.

The state coordinator disclosed the in-camp training was subsidised by the management to serve as encouragement and to cushion the effects of any biases the members of the service corps may nurse against the programme.

“We have a good rapport and understanding with trainers/facilitators which means they would not exploit you as your seriousness and hard work will pave the way to your destination,” she said.

She advised those who think they are well-connected and do not show interest in the SAED programme to have a rethink and embrace the post-camp training at their respective places of primary assignment while also discouraging them from putting all their eggs in one basket.

“NYSC has taught you how to fish and it is now left for you to spread your nets to gather what will stabilise you and make you independent job creators rather than a liability unto others.

“We are not going to leave you alone to your destiny after camp as we have mapped out strategies and set all machinery in motion to monitor your activities and ensure your plans materialise,” Ani said.

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The state coordinator admonished them to always let their local government inspectors and SAED schedule officers be wary of any difficulty they may face during the post-camp training so as to promptly address it.

The NYSC Ondo State helmsman congratulated all those who participated in the competition/exhibition highlighting that the foundation they laid for themselves will catapult them to greater heights in the not too distant future.

The state coordinator did not fail to acknowledge the immense contributions of the SAED committee on camp, the heads of committees as well as collaborating agencies for their unflinching support which culminated in the successes recorded during the orientation course.

In the course of the event, corps members with outstanding business plans were rewarded with support grants by Wema Bank Limited to help them plunge into the entrepreneurship world.

The glory in this category resided with a member of the Orientation Broadcasting Service, Ifere Wofai Ubi-Omini who beat others to clinched the first position.

Others who made it to the podium were Godday  Nwachukwu who came second while Grace Emmanuel took the third position in a contest that saw Ijeoma  Agu coming fourth.

Earlier, an Assistant Director/Head, SAED, Olugbenga Adefehinti had appreciated all the trainers/facilitators for their massive investment into the lives of the corps members, praying their labour would not be in vain.

Adefehinti used the occasion to enjoin the graduate youths to be encouraged and leave no stone unturned in ensuring the challenges facing the nation, since it is a global phenomenon, be harnessed as an opportunity to showcase their potential and ingenuity.

The inter-platoon exhibition/competition was competed for in five skills sub-set namely hat/fascinator; catering and confectionery; fashion and design; barbing as well as make-over and gele tying.