The Management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has praised Heritage Bank for its commitment to youth empowerment, especially in the area of promotion of entrepreneurial culture among youth in the country.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the NYSC top management team to the Heritage Bank headquarters in Lagos, the Scheme’s Director General, Brigadier –General Johnson Bamidele Olawunmi declared that youth empowerment is vital to the development of any country’s GDP.
According to him, to tackle the rate of unemployment and enhance the economic growth of any country, the youth population segment must be encouraged and supported to develop entrepreneurial skills and self-reliance. This, he said, led to the establishment of the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneur Development (SAED) by the Scheme as a way of channeling more concerted efforts to youth empowerment to achieve the desired results.
Brigadier General Olawunmi thanked Heritage Bank’s management for recently offering employment to thirty ex-corps members in addition to granting of loan facilities to many others to start their businesses under its SME Loan Scheme.
The NYSC helmsman also showed profound gratitude to the Bank for its strong support for the NYSC Hope Alive Initiative Scheme, a programme designed to provide financial assistance to help rehabilitate Corp members who suffer disabling injuries during their National Youth Service Programme.
He added that through constant support of the Bank and other well meaning individuals and corporate organisations, the NYSC Hope Alive Scheme has been able to offer a new ray of opportunity for disabled young Nigerians to pursue their dream of self realization.
Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo praised the NYSC for having the foresight and humanitarian spirit to set up the Hope Alive Initiative.
He said Heritage Bank’s gesture of supporting the Scheme was informed by its belief that the future wellbeing of the country would be better guaranteed if all well meaning Nigerians and other stakeholders teamed up with the Federal Government to empower the youths to create wealth.
He further pledged that the Bank, in line with its mantra to create, preserve and transfer wealth, would not relent in its effort to provide resources and facilities needed for the budding entrepreneurs to be successful in their various businesses.
He described the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme as one initiative the Bank would continue to support, adding that the Heritage Bank SkillBoost workshop was initiated to further complement the drive to equip the youth in their chosen career path or vocation.
The Heritage Bank boss identified other initiatives by the Bank which would continue to run in tandem with the SAED to include training NYSC staff to impart knowledge and skills to youth corps members such as the Bakery Training offered to the SAED coordinators in the previous batch. He assured that the Bank would always devote adequate human and material resources to initiatives aimed at helping corps members become whatever they aspire to be now and in the future.
Mr. Sekibo also called for collaborations from all economic stakeholders at all levels to improve the youth welfare index and make Nigerian youths self-reliant and empowered to transform the nation in her journey towards sustainable economic development.