I read the other day that Corpers can now expect to have access to loan after a year-long service for those interested in setting up business of their own. Unlike other bank loans whereby getting required collateral is a deterrent for majority of Nigerians, here, the only requirement is the Youth Corps Discharge Certificate.
Interested graduate could get between 250k and 400k naira, bank determines how much to give based on business plan.
No doubt most people who would be interested in taking up this loan in the first instance are the folks from state and federal university just because they are likely to be from low-income households.
It would have been helpful if terms and conditions of this loan are stated clearly online to guide those who might be interested. I think even with the maximum of 400k ($2k), one can not rely on this alone and be expected to start paying principal + interest back in just six months – I suppose those taking up the loans will need to understand the terms well beforehand otherwise this may backfire.
The idea of helping new graduates to secure soft loans is meant to complement existing NYSC Skill Acquisition Program that all Corpers were supposed to have participated in during the course of their service year.
All great stuff as it seems something is being done to reduce unemployment rate in the country.
Here is what I found a bit unsettling, if this program is sponsored by the federal government, why are the Corpers not given equal access to the same variety of skills to choose from in all of our regions? It seems the head of youth corp is aware of this but prefer to believe the opposite.
Here’s a statement from the NYSC Director-General Johnson Olawumi:
“He debunked allegations that the corps is yet to provide skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development to corps members, adding that the exercise has been ongoing since 2012.” – Pulse News
My question is instead of Brigade-General ‘debunking’ allegations, why can he delegate people to get accurate information from those making complaints, do random follow-up on stations to see if indeed all Corpers were given access to expected trainings.
I think the program is impressive but I also learned that Local Government Inspectors have different attitude toward this program which means some of our Corpers have fewer technical programs to choose from while others have plenty.
Also why is the fees paid to continue the scheme after three weeks in camp differ from region to region even when participating in similar program?
For example a Corper in one region paid 10k naira to train for leather work, while, in another region under the same scheme, learning the same leather work a Corper had to pay 15k naira.
I hope the corp members who are affected first hand by this disparity in fees and available skills to choose from can share information amongst themselves so Brigade General can make needed correction.
Thinking about this skill acquisition program, my hope over the next few years, this program will be better developed to mirror useful skill gaps in the country and then move it to our technical/polytechnic schools – I’m sure many people would get a lot out focusing on one skill for two years after secondary school.