- The director-general of the National Youth Service Corps has been named the Man of the Year in recognition of his achievements in 2021
- Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim defeated other federal government appointees to clinch the prestigious award
- Organisers of the award said the NYSC boss has been empowering hundreds of thousands of young Nigerians for self-reliance through the scheme
FCT, Abuja - The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has named the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, as its Man of the Year.
Making the announcement on Friday, December 24 at an event attended by a Legit.ng reporter in Abuja, the executive secretary of CESJET, Comrade Isaac Ikpa, said the NYSC DG was carefully selected after an online poll that featured four other prominent Nigerians.
Ikpa noted that Ibrahim garnered the highest number of votes ahead of the likes of Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (rtd), chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the immediate past DG, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Dr Adedeji Adeleke, founder of Adeleke University, Ede, Osun state.
According to Ikpa, the NYSC boss was the obvious choice owing to his trailblazing efforts in tackling unemployment through massive youth empowerment.
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Ikpa said the NYSC Skills Acquisition & Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme has been rejuvenated under Ibrahim, empowering hundreds of thousands of young Nigerians for self-reliance.
He recalled that about 75 per cent of graduates willing to work couldn't find gainful employment, leading to a surge in crime.
Making reference to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Ikpa said the country's unemployment rate was at a point about 30 per cent while the youth underemployment rate stood at 21 per cent.
He added that there was a need for drastic action by the government to check the tide.
The Centre said that with the NYSC's SAED initiative, many young Nigerians are independent after embracing entrepreneurship.
“Brig-Gen Ibrahim has succeeded in steering the mindset of our youths away from the mirage of white-collar jobs to that of entrepreneurial engagement.
“It is on record that this initiative has witnessed massive gains in recent times, thanks to the support of partners such as the Bank of Industry, Access Bank, Unity Bank, Leventis Foundation Nigeria and others too numerous to mention.”
While congratulating the NYSC boss, Ikpa urged him to sustain the momentum until every Nigerian graduate would become an entrepreneur.
NYSC DG, Ibrahim Shuaibu, Scheme Bag Prestigious Award of Excellence
Similarly, the NYSC scheme alongside Ibrahim was recently nominated for an award of excellence by a United Kingdom-based media group, The Nigerian News.
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In a statement seen by Legit.ng, the group said Ibrahim will be recognised as a 'Pathfinder of Youth Empowerment at the event to mark the organisation's fifth anniversary.
In addition, the NYSC scheme will be awarded 'Most Outstanding Agency for National Unity and Development.'
FG to Critics: NYSC Scheme More Relevant Now Than Ever Before
Meanwhile, the minister of youth and sports development, Mr. Sunday Dare has said the NYSC is more relevant than ever before in Nigeria.
According to Dare, the scheme is here to stay, adding that its contributions to national development are indisputable.
The minister made the comment on Saturday night, December 4 at the premiere of an advocacy movie produced by the NYSC.