• The National Youth Service Corps says it is ready to partner with corporate organisations to empower youths with entrepreneurship skills.

    The NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Johnson Olawumi, made the assertion on Friday in Ilorin at the opening of a training programme for its Venture Managers.

    Olawumi, represented by the Director, Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneur Services, Mrs Mary Dan Abia, said the NYSC in partnership with IITA had cultivated 20 hectares of hybrid cassava varieties at Leleyi-Kwali, FCT.

    The director-general also said that NYSC was collaborating with the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation, Idofian, on the development of agricultural equipment.

    “We are developing a new one with Fadama III project, all to ginger our youths to appreciate farming as a worthy profession,’’ Olawumi added.

    He said that the NYSC farm settlement in Kwali would be expanded to 70 hectares for the cultivation of cassava.

    Olawumi added that the NYSC rice mill in Ebonyi would as from the 2015 orientation programme sell the commodity to neighbouring NYSC camps at subsidised prices.

    He also said the NYSC Garri factory in Afon, Kwara, would be upgraded and equipped to meet the demand of the people in the area and beyond.

    Earlier, in his address of welcome, Acting Director, Venture Management Department, Mr Olayide Adeniran, said the workshop was designed to assist in developing new strategies to meet its mandate.

    Adeniran said the workshop was also to prepare the officials of the department for the challenges ahead.

    He said that the department was established in 2012 to resuscitate moribund projects such as NYSC farms and establish new projects.

    The director also said the department was to serve as training platform where corps members could acquire skills for self-reliance and develop business models for young entrepreneurs.

    Adeniran further said that the unit had been providing support services for the scheme through supply of food stuff and kits during orientation courses.

    He added that the venture department was mandated to contribute to the national food security programme of the Federal Government and enhance rural economic development.

    Adeniran listed NYSC business enterprises under the department to include NYSC Garment Factories in Minna, Niger State and Mgbakwu, Anambra, NYSC Rice Mill, Ezillo, Ebonyi and NYSC Feed Mill, Ipaja, Lagos State.

    Others are NYSC Garri factory at Afon in Kwara, NYSC Table Water factory and Bakery at NYSC orientation camp, FCT and NYSC National Band, Abuja.

    In his remarks, Kwara Coordinator of NYSC, Mr Abiodun Amusa, commended the director-general for resuscitating the NYSC ventures.

    The coordinator appealed to venture managers to put in their best and work extra hours to achieve the objective of the programme.

    He also appealed to the director-general to give the managers necessary incentives to enable them to achieve the set objectives. (NAN)

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