The National Youth Service Corps has expressed readiness to strengthen the existing partnership with National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi in Niger State to train corps members in modern farming with a view to boosting agricultural production, as well as giving fillip to the scheme’s revenue drive.
The move, according to the NYSC Director General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, is key to the Federal Government’s agenda on diversification of the economy through agricultural practices.
He disclosed this during a virtual meeting with the management of the institute led by the Executive Director, Dr. Aliyu Umar, where he lauded NCRI for its numerous support towards mentoring corps members and NYSC Agric Officers, especially in rice farming. Ibrahim, who solicited a wellcoordinated and robust partnership that will ensure more bumper harvest for the scheme through comprehensive training and supervision by the institute, also thanked the institute for its assistance in achieving a bumper harvest at NYSC rice farm in Kebbi State, which the he noted that the scheme was desired to replicate in all states.
To realise the noble objective and make NYSC a less burden on government for resources always, the Director-General spoke of the need for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and appointment of Desk Officers by the two agencies for the partnership. “We do not want NYSC to be seen as a burden to the Federal Government, and we want to generate funds from our farms,” lbrahim said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Umar, in his remarks, commended the NYSC for its interest in the institute and assured the Director General that corps members would be incorporated into the customised training for good agricultural practices of the institute. He further lauded the NYSC for the sustained partnership and disclosed that corps members would be trained on rice value chain from production to utilisation level, as well as in other crops such as soya beans, sugarcane and benny seed, among others.
“There is provision for customised training for in-house and outside station activities,” the Executive Director said, promising to appoint a Desk Officer immediately, while the modalities would be worked out towards signing the MoU with the NYSC. In a related development, the Director-General has inaugurated a block of new offices at the NYSC Kaduna State Secretariat of the scheme.
While inaugurating the project, Ibrahim commended the Kaduna State Coordinator of NYSC, Alhaji Isa Wana, for initiating and executing the project to completion, particularly for his passion for the success of the scheme through good leadership. He, therefore, urged other state Coordinators to demonstrate similar commitment so as further enhance the operations of the scheme, even as the Director-General enjoined them to rededicate themselves to their duties, adhere strictly to the provisions of the Public Service Rules and shun unethical practices.
According to the NYSC Director, Press and Public Relations, Mrs. Adenike Adeyemi, the Director- General also inaugurated a footoperated hand washing, soap and water dispenser, fabricated and donated by a corps member, Emmanuel Tambrari Gbaragbo to the Kaduna State Secretariat of the NYSC.