By Adejumoke Alebiosu
A coalition of religious groups and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have reiterated the call on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Trust Fund Bill.
Led by Bishop Abel Kings, the group in a statement in Abuja argued that the measure is required to empower the teeming population of graduates in the country.
The group explained that when the trust fund becomes operational, the NYSC Scheme will be better positioned to deliver world-class skill acquisition and entrepreneur centers across the country to fight unemployment and grow the economy.
The group faulted the claim by antagonists that the idea of the trust fund was mooted by the NYSC Director General Brig-Gen Mohammed Fadah, and the Senate President Ahmad Lawan to satisfy their pecuniary interests.
‘To further insinuate that funds accruable to the NYSC Trust Fund will end up in people’s pockets if the bill is assented by Mr. President is the most ridiculous anybody can make,’ they noted.
‘To dare make such unfounded claims against an institution that has operated for more than four decades without any verifiable financial scandal is very unfortunate.”
‘In recent times, the NYSC Scheme has been remitting billions of Naira to the federation account as proceeds from internally generated revenues and excess funds from the annual budget of the scheme.
‘Trying to create a situation of mistrust in a bid to derail presidential assent to the NYSC Trust Fund Bill will not work because, Nigerians are abreast with the facts. Any dissenting view at this point is a needless distraction worthy of attention.
‘Let it be known that the legal framework for NYSC Trust Fund insulates it against corruption. Those spreading falsehood should take note.
‘As the conscience of the nation and jointly with our religious leaders, we commend the NYSC Management for their foresight and conviction to push through this very important bill.
‘We also commend Mr President for being youth-friendly and sensitive to the plight of Nigerians. We must therefore not relent in urging him to quickly give his assent to this very important bill so that youth unemployment will become a thing of the past in no distant time.’