The House of Representatives has passed the bill seeking to establish a National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund.

The NYSC Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill passed the Third Reading at the Plenary.

The Legislation is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund for the purpose of providing a Sustainable Source of Funds for the National Youth Service Corps, Skill Acquisition, Training and Empowerment of Corps Members, Training and Retraining of the Personnel of the National Youth Service Corps, Development of Camps and NYSC formations and Facilities therein; and for Related Matters.’

Sponsored by a member of the House, Samuel Akinfolarin, the NYSC Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill 2021 passed the first reading at the House on December 16, 2021; and the second reading on January 20, 2022.

Meanwhile, a group, Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency, has hailed the House for passing the bill, urging the Senate to concur with the passage.

Convener of the CSJET, Isaac Ikpa, at a press conference in Abuja, also urged the President, Muhammad Buhari, to speedily assent to the bill after its passage by the National Assembly.

Ikpa said, “The House is obviously full of members that look at the future of the Nation and consider just how well our growth as a people is important to the success of Governance. Our place as a Nation in the continent and the world is only further emphasised with bills such as this one, making it known who we are and how we conduct our affairs.

“It is good to know that the full Nation is coming to the realization of Acknowledging that NYSC is the best way to imbibe the spirit of Nationalism in our Youths. Now is the time for our young individuals to understand that the nation that they have once thought of giving up on, actually cares about their welfare and survival.

“This is the time they need to understand that they are Nigerians and not just Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, and other tribes in the Country. Meeting people from different parts of the Country has helped many individuals understand other cultures and promotes unity amongst diversity. NYSC has made possible for our Nigerian youths.”

According to him, most of the youths have difficulties trying to find jobs while there is usually little to nothing to help with launching out those who receive Entrepreneurial Tutorship and Developing Skills. “It is, therefore, a victory for the Nation that there is now a light of hope to help these youths launch out on their own; something to help them start up a business,” he noted.

It was reported that the Fund would be financed with a levy of 1 per cent of the net profit of companies and organised Private Sector operating Business in Nigeria; 0.2 per cent of total revenue accruing to the Federation account; and any takeoff grant and special intervention fund as may be provided by the Federal, State and Local Governments of the Federation.

Other sources of funds include “such money as may be appropriated to meet the objective of this Act by the National Assembly in the Budget; aids, grants and assistance from International bilateral and Multilateral Agencies, non-governmental organisations and the organised private sector; grants, donations, endowments, bequests and gifts, whether of money, land or any other property from any source; and money derived from investment made by the Trust Fund.”

The proposed Fund is to “Provide sustainable source of funds for NYSC, Skill Acquisition Training and Provision of start-up capital to corps members, train and retrain the personnel of the NYSC, develop Camps and NYSC formations and provide facilities therein.”

It will also “improve the General Welfare of Corps Members and personnel of the scheme and enhance their preparedness to effectively discharge their statutory duties of promoting national unity, integration, self-reliance and accelerated development of the national economy.”

The proposed Law will, therefore, provide a Legal Framework for Management and control of the Special Intervention fund established under Section 3 of the Act.

The bill partly reads, “The Trust Fund Established under Section 3 of this Act covers all corps members, personnel of the NYSC, orientation camps, formations, facilities and for the overall improvement and efficiency in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities.

“The Trust Fund is to operate concurrently with the National Youth Service Corps scheme from the commencement of the bill.”

PUNCH/Ibrahim Bamidele

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