By Franca Ofili
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to boost productivity of its agricultural programme.
The Director, Press and Public Relations, NYSC, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that the ceremony took place at the agency’s headquarters in Ibadan.
Adeyemi said that the NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, after signing of the MoU commended the agency for giving corps members the opportunity to discover and develop their potentials in agricultural practices
Ibrahim said that the corps members were full of energy and patriotic zeal, adding that the nation would benefit immensely from their potentials if other corps employers provided them with the enabling environment.
The director-general said that the scheme always encouraged the youths to seek self-employment, and had introduced the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme in 2012.
He said it was a platform to empower them to be wealth creators and employers of labour.
He added that NYSC would continue to leverage on the existing relationship with various stakeholders for the benefit of corps members and overall national development.
Ibrahim advised corps members serving at IITA to take a cue from their predecessors and embrace all empowerment opportunities provided by the agency.
“I enjoin you to take advantage of the opportunities which will empower you and help to actualise the Federal Government’s vision on food security,” he said.
Speaking, IITA’s Deputy Director-General for Partnership and Delivery, Mr Kenton Dashiell, said that the 53-year old institute had been working to prevent poverty and hunger.
Dashiell noted that it would as well enhance food security and economic diversification.
He said the agency placed high premium on corps members serving there over the years with the latter gaining experience while former benefited from their potentials and ingenuity.
Dashiell explained that the IITA Youth Agropreneur programme commenced with some NYSC members, posted for primary assignment and were encouraged to receive training in various profitable ventures in the agricultural value chain.
He said that more than 665 corps members had served in IITA within the past eight years.
Dashiell said the institute was desirous of strengthening its relationship with NYSC so as to help corps members and others in boosting agriculture and reduce importation of food products into the country. (NAN)