The European Union is seeking partnership with the National Youth Service Corps on empowerment of youth.
Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Ambassador Michel Arrion, made the proposal today during a courtesy visit to the Director-General, Brigadier General Sulaiman Kazaure, at the NYSC National Directorate Headquarters, Abuja.
Arrion said the collaboration will cover issues of job creation as well as how to make sure youths are fully recognized as major component of the nation.
The envoy, noted that the question of youth was gaining political attention not only in Nigeria, but also in the entire African continent, and stressed that stakeholders needed to do much more on the youths not only in the area of education, but also other forms of empowerment.
He noted that the AU Heads of State had endorsed a joint EU and African Union Commissions’ proposal to concentrate discussions at the next EU/African Union summit scheduled for November 2017 on the youth.
“The way we are looking at the youth is really holistic in the sense that we are seeing the youth as important component of the society with rights and obligations,” he said.
He recalled that some EU Ambassadors in Nigerian participated in the sensitization programme conducted in some NYSC Orientation Camps by the Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy (PAIGAS) with the aim of getting Corps members to believe in themselves and their country.
Arrion, who described feedback on the camp sensitization as encouraging, said the EU, NYSC and PAIGAS had more good things to do together.
Also speaking, the President of PAIGAS, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, thanked the NYSC Management for accepting PAIGAS’ proposal on sensitization of Corps members on national pride.
He recalled that twelve states were covered and expressed readiness of the organization to cover many more during its next outing.
Ambassador Uhomoibhi said the EU/NYSC/PAIGAS collaboration will further pass the message of hope and self-confidence to the youths, stressing that the latter could achieve much in Nigeria without having to travel abroad in search of greener pasture.
He said PAIGAS wanted to go beyond talking to the youth and give them better options, including empowering them with skills for self-reliance.
Responding the Director-General, Brigadier General Sulaiman Kazaure, thanked the EU and PAIGAS for their interest in the progress of Nigerian youths.
Kazaure told his guests that the NYSC had been striving to empower Corps members for self-employment through its Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme, stressing that one of the focal points of his administration’s policy direction was to optimize the benefits of the programme.
He called on the EU to expand the scope of its proposed collaboration with the NYSC to cover assistance towards strengthening the SAED programme, especially in the area of start-off funds for the trained corps entrepreneurs.