The Director–General, National Youth Service Corps, Brig Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim once again brings you the message of hope, as the globe battles the Coronavirus scourge which unfortunately remains a big threat to human existence, but shall be ultimately defeated.
Sadly, virtually all the countries of the world are reeling under the heavy yoke imposed by the pandemic, with not a few declaring partial or total lockdown of their systems.
Our dear country, Nigeria is not left out. The Federal Government on Monday, 13th April, 2020 extended by fourteen days the total lockdown of Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in order to contain the spread of the virus.
Some states in the federation equally followed suit by declaring either total or partial lockdown.
As a consequence of the global health crisis, the NYSC Scheme, being a responsive and responsible organisation suspended the Orientation programme for the 2020 Batch “A” Stream One Corps Members, so as to avoid the contraction and spread of the virus by members of the camp community in the NYSC camps nationwide.
In addition to the above proactive measure, the Scheme suspended for two months, in the first instance, the monthly Clearance; and directed Corps Members to stay at home to guard against being infected by the virus, while the Corps Medical Teams in the 36 States and the FCT were encouraged to complement the medical teams battling to rescue Nigerians from the preying claws of the monster, COVID – 19.
Happily, the Corps Medical Teams have approached this singular task with high degree of responsibility, making enormous sacrifices for which the Scheme remains grateful, and feels proud to be associated with them.
Dear Corps Members, every cloud has a silver lining. Simply put, in every disadvantage abounds so many opportunities to be tapped into.
How else would the Scheme have discovered the creative ingenuity that God deposited in Corps Members, if not for the outbreak of the scourge?.
Management shall continue to salute and hold dearly Corps Members across the country who have in no small measure deployed their creative ingenuity towards the fight against the pandemic, particularly by the timely production and donation of face masks and hand sanitisers to the Federal and State Governments, in addition to some NYSC host communities and individuals.
The donations were not only very heartwarming, but an apt demonstration of the gains of the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development initiative, as well as the Community Development Service programme of the Scheme. Indeed, you have all written your names in gold.
Beyond the above, l charge you to see this period of lockdown as that of self discovery and advancement. Thus, it is an opportunity to discover and develop those latent skills that you possess. It could be in the areas of creative writing; public speaking; language study; painting; IT; Advertising, among others.
You are admonished never to let the opportunity slip by, without adding values to your life — values that will make you more marketable in the ever dynamic and competitive globe that the IT had since shrunk into a village.
Use this period to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship; use this period to develop yourself into a potent tool that will be most appealing to a potential employer; above all, use this period to renew your relationship and faith in God — the Unseen Reality, the Harbour of peace and inspiration.
At the end of the crisis, or even in the currency of it, l expect to get a positive feedback from you with regard to the extent that you have been able to fan into flame this pieces of advice to you.
Remember that growth is not an automatic process. Self develop now. Together, we shall weather the storm.