Pres. Jonathan Gives Automatic Employment, Scholarship To I64 NYSC Award Winners

Pres. Jonathan Gives Automatic Employment, Scholarship To I64 NYSC Award Winners

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday announced automatic employment for all the 164 award winners in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 batches of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Jonathan, who spoke at the President’s NYSC Honours Award at the State House Abuja, said those still unemployed would be absorbed into the Federal Civil Service.

The corps members were said to have been selected from the three batches, “based on their outstanding performances during their service years”.

The President also announced automatic scholarship for any of the 164 awardees who wants to advance their education.

Nine corps members, who became physically-challenged during their service year, were given N23.5 million cash under the NYSC Hope Alive programme. They had varying degrees of permanent disabilities ranging from amputated arms to amputated legs and disfigured burns from accidents.

Ibeto Group donated N5 million to one of the nine injured corps members, who could not attend the event because of the injury.

Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio donated N5 million to the nine corps members and Heritage Bank donated N1.5 million to each of them.

Three best overall female corps members, one from each of the three batches, also received plaques and cash reward from the National Council of Women Society.

Jonathan said: “Once again, I congratulate all awardees on your well merited recognition and honour. The entire nation salutes the determination, courage, discipline, commitment and hard work, which you exhibited during the service year.

“In line with our policy of encouraging our youths  to always strive for excellence, including serving and prospective corps members, I hereby announce immediate employment of the award winners in the Federal Civil Service, as well as automatic scholarship up to doctorate level in any university of their choice across the globe.

“I urge you to always be good ambassadors of this great country, and we shall continue to look up to you for greater vision and accomplishments.”

He added: “On our part, we will continue to accord priority to youth development through policies and programmes that will empower them not only for economic survival, but also for future leadership roles in our nation.

“The Federal Government will continue to initiate policies and programmes that are focussed on our youths. So far, we have put in place the National Schools Agriculture Programme, the YouWin! Programme, the youth empowerment component of the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) and in no distant time, we will establish a National Youth Development Fund to ensure that our vision for empowered youth is firmly irreversible.

“As part of our Transformation Agenda, government gave approval for the NYSC to establish a Department of Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development. It is encouraging, from all indications, that the corps members have eagerly embraced this programme.

“The NYSC Hope Alive Programme (NYSC-HAP), which seeks to identify and recognise Corps members, who had the misfortune of becoming physically-challenged as a result of injuries they sustained in the course of their National Service to our fatherland, is one programme that is very dear to me.

“The concern demonstrated by the NYSC in identifying and recommending some of them for appointment into the Federal Civil Service, while also assisting others financially to enable them cater for their needs, is highly commendable. We must take care of the needy without hesitation.”

He also said that the prompt response and pragmatism with which the scheme addressed issues of national emergencies had also been demonstrated in the way it  successfully keyed into the global campaign against the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease.

But he said the ceremony would be the last combined function for more than one batch that he would entertain as the scholarship being offered now might be belated to many of the awardees, who must have furthered their studies since they completed their NYSC two years ago.

He directed that awards for any particular batch should be given not too long after the end of the batch’s service.

Minister of Youth Boni Haruna hoped that the gesture would spur the awardees to continue to give greater service to the country.

“This is a challenge for you to strive towards excellence in all endeavours,” he said.

The Director General of the NYSC, Brig. Gen. Johnson Olawumi said the 164 winners included 55 corps members from the 2012 batch, 52 from 2013 batch and 57 from the 2014 batch.

He said they were selected by a committee made up of people of proven integrity and that the NYSC Hope Alive programme was aimed at sustaining corps members who sustained injuries during service.

Elections in Nigeria, he said, had become more credible since corps members started participating in their conduct.

Jonathan presented medals to the 164 corps members and took group photographs with each of the batches and the injured winners.

He also cut a cake baked for the awardees.

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