The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Osun says no fewer than 500 corps members in the state have secured business startup loans through the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Empowerment Development (SAED) programme.
Mrs Olutayo Samuel, the NYSC Camp Director in the state, disclosed this during the Inter-Platoon Skill Acquisition Competition/Exhibition Day held at the NYSC permanent orientation camp in Ede.
Samuel said more than 3,000 corps members had been empowered with start-up loans since the programme commenced across the country.
She said the NYSC in the state went into partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2014 to provide the start-up loans to corps members.
Samuel further said the loans were interest-free, adding that the payback period would commence after six months of any business startup.
Mr Emmanuel Attah, the NYSC Coordinator in the state, said the scheme ’s desire to make the corps members self-reliant prompted the introduction of the programme.
“ The essence is to make corps members independent by becoming employers of labour and not job seekers,’’ he said.
Attah said the financial partners of the scheme had been supporting corps members with the needed funds to start their business.
He said the NYSC discharge certificates of beneficiaries were being used as collaterals.
Attah urged corps members to utilise the opportunity the SAED programme had provided for them.
The wife of the Ooni of Ife, Naomi Ogunwusi, expressed delight at the efforts of the NYSC to empower corps members.
She urged corps members to acquire skills to become employers of labour.
“Every youth is powerful, empower yourself by learning a skill and you will be good.
“ All of you must channel your energy to doing something positive that can yield dividends,’’ she said.