By Bukola Olasanmi
Youths of any nation globally are the foothold of a secured tomorrow for the country. Nigeria is a country blessed with agile and vibrant youths. In them, the portrait of endurance and perseverance exudes, laced in the dogged determination to conquer the challenges of life. But most times, they are not properly groomed to arrive at the destination of a purposeful and worthy life.
Therefore, it is the first time, Nigerian youths have found a friend, an ally, a partner and boss in the incumbent Director-General (DG) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim. Since he became NYSC’s D-G, the young Army officer has dispensed himself as a formidable plank for youths of Nigeria to realize their full potentials in order to become assets to the nation, rather than miscreants.
Brigadier Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim has undeniably proven himself as an agent of transformation, a reformer, an innovator and pacesetter in leadership. He has spared nothing to reposition the NYSC and in ensuring corps members are genuinely guided. Now, Nigerians are delighted to see the ingenuity embedded in Nigerian youths serving in the NYSC scheme, maximally exploited for their personal development and nation-building.
A peek into the administration of Shuaibu Ibrahim as D-G NYSC for these past months shows a progressive trend of solid legacies and unshakable commitment to his avowal of rescuing a pivotal scheme which was almost paralyzed. The aims and objectives of the NYSC scheme have been his sacred book and at every point and everywhere, NYSC is now noticed with the badge of a rebirthed scheme.
The welfare and social security of corps member is not only of paramount concern, but a top priority in the policies of the NYSC boss. His consistent preachments to corps members have always been that they should consider anywhere duty beckons for their primary assignment as their birthplace and ancestral abode. To him, everywhere is home to every Nigerian.
He has guaranteed the financial security of Nigerian youths serving the country under the NYSC scheme. Brigadier Gen. Ibrahim fought relentlessly to ensure the implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000 monthly. Every youth corps member now receives N33,000 as monthly allowance and it is paid promptly, despite the economic crunch. And through subtle persuasions, the NYSC boss has been able to convince employers of the services of corps members in augmenting the government pay package with some stipends. And the response has been tremendous.
A stickler to standards, Ibrahim provides leadership for the scheme in very exceptional ways. He thinks more about a rewarding future for Nigerian youths than the realities of today and has silently launched a variety of economic empowerment programmes to assist them to become responsible citizens by utilizing it to clutch the niceties of tomorrow.
NYSC has reactivated its formerly silent commercial values and strength. It now operates its bread factory and table water company in Kubwa, Abuja. And the NYSC boss has plans to replicate same in states of the federation. It is an uncommon innovation and a gradual path to NYSC’s financial independence in the nearest future.
The global outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 was a tough period, not only for the NYSC, but Nigerians generally. But Brigadier Gen. Ibrahim provided a patriotic, astute and focused leadership when it was most needed. The greatest joy engineered by Ibrahim was that throughout the period of the raging Covd-19 pandemic, no youth corps member’s life was risked to Covid-19 or snatched by the cold hands of death because of the epidemic. The religiously strict enforcement of all Covid-19 social protocols in camps and other places of congregation by corps members became a golden rule.
-Olasanmi, a journalist, lives in Kubwa, Abuja.