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Sadiya Farouq: That Special Touch In Cabinet – By Philip Agbese

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Unmistakably, President Muhammadu Buhari has an unquenchable obsession with the plight of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians. A pivotal aspect of his leadership of the nation is to ensure, platforms are erected for less privileged Nigerians to also have access to the nation’s commonwealth, and relish economic empowerment or be assisted through government support schemes to live meaningful lives.

It is evident in the policies and actions of his administration, which have become more pronounced especially in this journey to the #NextLevel. The pursuit of this agenda led to creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHDS), immediately he was re-elected and inaugurated into office for a second tenure.

And anytime, President Buhari puts his heart to a project, he guns for the best hands to entrust with the work. Therefore, Mr. President appointed an experienced administrative amazon, a compassionate woman, an exact replica of Mother Theresa, an amiable mother and astute manager of human beings and resources, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq to oversee the affairs of the multi-tasked new ministry.

Since Sadiya Farouq took over the dais, together with her team in the ministry, ably supported by the President, they have given a special touch and a new face to the management of humanitarian affairs in the country. Nigeria is a country with multiple humanitarian challenges, from natural disasters to man-made problems. The issues are a dozen, which every day and every hour requires the attention of government to alleviate the hardships or bring succour to distressed Nigerians.

However, it is amazing that though Minister Sadiya Farouq met piles of problems when she assumed office; but she effectively combined the setting up of the structures of a new office as well as responding to both old and fresh humanitarian challenges assailing Nigeria. FMHDS merely clocked a year of operations August 2020.

But regardless of the short time of its existence, and the encumbrances, a peek into the scoresheet of the ministry, pricks anyone very strongly that Hajiya Sadiya Farouq is a special and unique personage in the #NextLevel cabinet of President Buhari. She is factually a blessing to the country and the people.

Nigerians are reaping bountifully from the Minister’s hard work, commitment, straightforwardness and impartial treatment of all Nigerians without succumbing to the temptation of greasing the nation’s faultlines in the patriotic discharge of this national assignment. She works round the clock and personally visits scenes of disasters with her team of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at any instance of disaster to berth succour to distressed people.

FMHDS is unarguably, one of the largest federal ministries, with several agencies under its supervision, but the Honourable Minister has proved herself impressively as an administrator who is equal to the task. To her, it is treading on a familiar terrain, and she does not dread any obstacle, but scores the goals neatly in accordance with her targets.

Whether it is in implementing the functions of NEMA in quick responses to natural or artificial disasters or partnering with the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to wipe away the tears of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in insurgency-ravaged communities, the workaholic Sadiya Farouq has lived her covenant with the masses of Nigeria.

Most notably, as a focal member of the Presidential Task Force on Covid -19 pandemic, Minister Sadiya excellently coordinated Governments responses to the people over the pandemic. She performed this duty in strict adherence to Presidential directives to the Ministry for interventions in providing palliatives to the poor and vulnerable groups throughout the country.

The distribution of the multiple packages of Covid-19 palliatives during the lockdown to the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, seemed an arduous task, but the Minister conquered the sabotaging demons who plotted to frustrate it and met the expectations of Mr. President in this sensitive assignment.

Each state of the federation got its exact share of the palliatives, without distortions and timely. The minister personally visited most states of the federation and supervised the humanitarian interventions and distributions of assorted palliatives packages to the most vulnerable in the society such as refugees, IDP’s, People Living with Disabilities, Older Persons, Trafficked Persons, Orphans, the poorest of the poor and the petty traders amongst others.

Sadiya Farouq has improved and added value to all the schemes domiciled in the Ministry. She has been able to graduate and discharge Batches A & B of the N-Power programme and has kick-started the Batch C of the scheme. And nearly 110, 000 beneficiaries of the dispatched N-Power jobs beneficiaries have established personal businesses.

And through the thoughtful initiatives of the Honourable Minister, thousands of the N-Power beneficiaries have been engaged as aggregators for the Home- Grown School Feeding Programme. Under her supervision, N-Power program is meeting its mandate of net reduction in youth unemployment figures and she has put modalities in place to sustain it to greater impacts.

A foresighted administrator, Sadiya Farouq has birthed the Civil Security Coordination Framework (CSCF) and in progression, also created the National Humanitarian Coordination Forum (NHCF), Humanitarian Policy Dialogue to create a seamless plank for the operations and conduct of all humanitarian interventions across the country by the ministry.

By her progressive initiatives too, the Minister is at the last stages of establishing the National Disability Commission (NDC) and the National Senior Citizens Center (NSCC) to entrench holistic means and channels of flow of Government humanitarian interventions to the targeted groups devoid of hitches. Only a gifted leader would think of durable and permanent structures in the execution of her assignment as exemplified by the Minister.

The FMHDS’s torchlight on one of the Social Investment Programme planks; the Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP) designed to intervene over the challenges of credit and financial inclusion for the over 37 million Nigerians has been most outstanding. It has greatly assisted countless Nigerians from the economic meltdown in the era of Covid-19 epidemic.

It has empowered over 2.3 million such micro-enterprises with interest-free loans to grow their businesses and climbed the ladder as the largest global public microcredit scheme and recognized by African Bankers with the award of the “Most Impactful Micro Credit Programmme in the whole of Africa. Owners of small businesses are loudly attesting to the Minister’s patriotic service to the nation.

And the Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) has become the biggest fish in the pond under the direction of Sadiya Farouq in expansion and enrolment figures. She has not only brought states like Zamfara and Abia previously excluded in the scheme on board; but has also upped the enrolment capacity and number of the Poor and Vulnerable Households to incredible figures of millions of direct beneficiaries.

Presently, Minister Sadiya Farouq is disbursing Cash grant to rural women in Kwara and other states. It is a programme with the window of one-off grant to vulnerable women in rural communities and the expansive framework is projected to cover 150,000 poor rural women across the 36 states of the federation including the FCT. It is an unexpected relief to these less privileged Nigerian women at their doorsteps.

And Sadiya Farouq is the force and the shadows, propelling the marvelous rebuilding and development projects aggressively being executed by the North East Development Commission (NEDC) under the Rapid Response Intervention (RRI) plan, an integral master plan by President Buhari to rebuild the region, which is ravaged by insurgency.

With Boko Haram terrorists reduced to size in the Northeast region by the Nigerian Military and restoration of peace and security, the whole region has become a huge constructions site. About 224 developmental projects spread across 112 Local government areas across the six states of Northeast are currently ongoing; while others have been completed in the areas of education, health, social infrastructures, integrated agricultural programmes and WASH.

Through this clear-cut FMHDS’s partnership with NEDC, its Managing Director, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali, another tireless and focused administrator is providing steady back-up support to the Minister to bring solace to the troubled and traumatized peoples of the region who have suffered years of destructions to personal and public properties by rampaging terrorists campaigners. Currently, NEDC has voted N6 billion and dispensing same as annual grants on scholarship for students in the region.

So, tshose only interested in concocting falsehoods against President Buhari or who embark on the campaigns of calumny when they fail to frustrate his laudable programmes targeted at the poor of the poorest and vulnerable groups cannot blight reality. The beneficiaries drawn indiscriminately for the empowerment schemes and relief programmes express appreciations to President Buhari and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs at the slightest opportunity.

The haters can continue to chant meaningless songs; but Minister Sadiya Farouq and her able team of subordinates at in NEDC, NEMA and other agencies under the ministry have redefined the face of humanitarian interventions and disasters management in Nigeria irrefutably.

Agbese is a human rights activist and wrote from Abuja.

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NCPC And The Footprints of a Colossus – By Best Agbese

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The appointment of the Plateau-born famed minister of the gospel, Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam as the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), on June 26th 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari attracted loud applauses within the Christian community in Nigeria. Rev. Pam emerged leader of the commission on the hills of the unceremonious exist of his predecessor, Rev. Tor Uja following faulty leadership outings and crisis of trustworthy leadership.

The NCPC is the apex national regulatory body for Nigerian Christian pilgrimages, an exercise for spiritual rebirth and deeper understanding of the Christian faith by worshippers. Additionally, it also, has a mandate to create platforms conducive for national inter-religious dialogue, harmony, peaceful co-existence, and development in the comity of the Body of Christ in Nigeria.

Issues of religion are quite thorny, sensitive, and explosive in Nigeria. The Federal Government of Nigeria is always concerned with the constant frictions and altercations among the diverse religious sects in the country. So, it is incumbent on any leader of a national religious body to work towards vacating issues which propel disharmony and animosities in religious circles.

Therefore, the mandate of the NCPC leadership is hinged on exiting these unnecessary brawls, entrench inter-religious harmony and enhance the spiritual welfare of Christians in Nigeria. Presently, the NCPC coordinates and supervises activities of intending pilgrims to Holy Lands around the globe, including Israel, Greece, Rome, with the latest addition of Jordan by the Rev. Pam leadership in the 2021 pilgrimage exercise.

These were the onerous tasks placed on the shoulders of Rev. Pam when he mounted the saddle about a year ago, precisely in July 2020. In order to deliver to Nigerians, worthy services of a pilgrim’s commission, Rev. Pam ensconced his vision in battling corruption; rebranding the tainted image of the commission; changing the faulty perception and mindset of the people; strong synergy with the church and the establishment of an NCPC peace desk to resolve emerging disagreements.

So far, Rev. Dr. Pam who parades over 30 years of leadership experiences in the Christian community on the local and national stages, have armed him with enough wisdom to discharge his responsibilities honestly, conscientiously and with the fear of God Almighty.

In effect, Pam considered his elevation to the national leadership of the Christian community in Nigeria under the auspices of the NCPC as a golden opportunity to redeem the battered image of the commission and Christians, which also negatively affected the global reputation of the nation.

The NCPC boss has brought to the table his wealth of experience in promoting inter-religious harmony and conflict resolution, especially in Northern part of the country in the administration of the commission. These have not only been his weapons, but trusted assets in leading NCPC to its towering ambience at the moment.

Barely a year into office, Rev. Pam has admirably proved his mettle as a leader of the people. He has reorganized and repositioned the NCPC as the most organized and efficient pilgrimage body in the world, recognized for excellence in faultless services. These are driven on the principles of fairness, equity and justice as his anthem.

Ab initio, Rev. Pam was convinced that his failure to lead the NCPC on the path of glory will bring shame to the church and canvassed inclusive leadership from all stakeholders in Christendom in the country. Pam enthused that “There’s a need to bring out talents to build NCPC. The time has come to work together and collectively re-build the image of our country and the NCPC.” It has been his operative doctrine inspired by orderliness and commitment to a service which repulses all manifestations of corruption in the commission.

Pam is a team player and keeps constant touch with Executive Secretaries and Board Chairmen of States’ Christian Pilgrim Welfare Boards and other stakeholders in piloting the affairs of the commission. He has sustained synergy with disparate bodies for the smooth dispensation of the operations of the commission.

To get started, Rev. Pam trained staffers of the commission in Lagos for effective Pilgrimage operations and refreshed their memories on the discharge of official responsibilities at a three-day staff retreat in Jos. The NCPC under the leadership of Rev. Pam also organized the maiden Ministers Conference of Network of Gospel Ministers in Northern Nigeria (NOGMINN), in Jos, Plateau state as part of his deliberate policy of his inclusive administration of the commission.

This platform which assembled ministers of the gospel was utilized by Pam to sermonize to the church in Nigeria to assume complete ownership of Christian pilgrimage in Nigeria and the operations of the NCPC generally. With a mind always fixated on peace, the NCPC boss invited these ordained messengers of God to assist in restoring peace and unity in the Northern part of the country.

To his credit and the expansion of the experiences of Nigerian pilgrims, Rev. Pam has worked out modalities for the 2021 intending pilgrims to explore new Holy sites around the world, outside the routine sites. The Kingdom of Jordan has been added to the list of countries to be visited by Nigerian pilgrims because of its historic religious significance to Christian faithful.

And proactively, Rev. Pam embarked on an inspection and exploratory visit to the new sites; dialogued with the Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities in Amman and finalized the arrangements. It will be a novel experience for the 2021 pilgrims.

The NCPC executive scribe is also conscious of the Coronavirus pandemic and its effects. To ensure Nigerian pilgrims are protected from contracting the disease, Rev. Pam has kept in constant touch with the Israeli authorities to monitor and detect any unusual or awkward development that may endanger and compromise the health of Nigerian pilgrims.

And in consonance with one of his visions, Rev. Pam has introduced and vigorously pursued peace-building among religious sects in the country. His intervention in the perennial Southern Kaduna crises between Christians and Muslims tremendously assisted in brokering peace to warring factions. It terminated with a three-day peace summit, where the agenda of de-escalation of crises was extensively discussed and a report, containing recommendations on enduring peace has been forwarded to Governor Nasir El-Rufai for necessary action.

To expand the tentacles of the NCPC and bring its services closer to Northern Christians, the commissions executive secretary is currently in persuasive dialogue with the Northern governors for the establishment of pilgrim welfare boards in states with any such office. He is optimistic that the fruitful discussions would create more pilgrim boards in the North to deeply unite Christendom and generate progressive ideas for the development of the country.

Conversely, NCPC under Rev. Pam has intensified sensitization visits to State Governors as well as advocacy for sponsorship of pilgrims in Nigeria. Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam has demonstrated in all ramifications, an impactful leadership of the commission in a short while. At the expiration of his five- year tenure, NCPC would surely be transformed into an enviable national asset for both Christians and the nation through Pam’s purposeful and focused leadership. #

Agbese is a UK based scholar and wrote from Dundee.

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Nigeria Army And War Against Insurgency Beyond Slogan – By Isaac Ikpa

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I don’t know him; may be, only a few Nigerians might have encountered him in the sanctuaries of books and there is no possibility that any Nigerian would ever have a chance of knowing him personally, but Frederick C. Blesse is a living legend or a genius of wisdom by conquering the essence of existence with his timeless philosophy. Blesse told his generation and those who cared to listen that “No guts; no glory.”

So, Nigerians are fervently asking; where are the guts of the incumbent Service Chiefs barely three months after they sauntered on the turf of anti-insurgencies and insurrections as Nigeria’s chief sentinels worthy of a glory? Could it be physical and intellectual fatigue this early in office? Or, are some gods or invisible celestial forces chasing their shadows to the point of disarmament?

It is incredible to the discomforting reality that we are now tethered to the mercy of armed gangs, in ceaseless torments and wails. We are now operating on a frequency akin to a typical village market in the countryside, directionless and unfocused. We are forced to sleep, wine and dine with terrorists and bandits near Abuja. Is it the new glory the incumbent Service Chiefs wish to earn for us and the nation?

Peace and security have eluded us. Our enclaves are seized by gunmen, known and unknown. The unending fires in Southern Nigeria, specifically, Southeast region have felled both civilians and soldiers. The infamous leader of the outlawed IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has changed the configuration of his rogue armed gangs several times and boldly dare the Nigerian Military. Yet, we appear helpless and rather enter a plea of bargain for mercy? Nigerian Military Chiefs, where is the glory?

We are only searching for the glory in the number of our kidnapped or abducted children by bandits in the Northwest; we only sight a tainted glory in the dingy dungeons of terrorists who have held our people captive. We are forced to sing lullabies to sword-brandishing hoodlums and miscreants; the plain rogues whose only strength is the uncontrolled thirst for bloodshed, in the excitement of feasting on our soldiers.
Asking further, I repeat; where is the glory of our Military or they’ve got no guts anymore? What else can we remember in this quagmire? The ceaseless bloodbath, arson and ashes staring us in the face? We are now standing on rooftops and selenic heights to inspect the ruins brought upon us, as our military fumbles and trembles before deadly enemies. Like romantic poets, Nigerian Military chiefs now are inured to sloganeering and have turned deaf ears to the lamentations around them.

I reminisced on what the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru voiced out when he took the mantle of leadership from his predecessor in Abuja. Gen. Attahiru was stern and appeared like a ferociously devouring lion.

He told his eager audience and pledged to Nigerians on January 28th 2021 to sustain the giant strides of Nigerian Army as he experienced and inherited from his predecessor. Sadly today, Nigerians can neither sight the giant nor the strides in Attahiru’s actions. The spirit has waned unceremoniously. Sometimes, he appears more phobic than the civilian Nigerians he has the mandate to secure. Where are the guts, to transform into glory? Blesse was right!

The guts starts and ends with slogans of the Army Chief. Gen. Attahiru told another audience two months later in March 2021, at the opening of the Combined Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference and Nigerian Army Operations Retreat 2021 in Abuja that;

“I want to state that the Nigerian Army under my watch will remain resolute in decisively dealing with any threat confronting the country…I have directed that serious attention must be given to sustaining and improving the tempo in all ongoing Nigerian Army operations across the country…Commanders must therefore glean from my command philosophy to ensure that operational and administrative proficiency of Nigerian Army formations and units are sustained and improved upon.”

Sometimes, it is not good enough to overstretch limits of reasonableness in assessment of anybody on a hot seat, like where Attahiru has found himself. He is not in the game alone. His colleagues, other Service Chiefs are also there with him. But we cannot divorce the reality that Attahiru is the Chief honcho of counter-insurgency operations and together with his colleagues are absolutely lost on positive impressions in the terrorism combats in the country.

So, it’s a tedious task to attempt to discern Gen. Attahiru’s philosophy of “operational and administrative proficiency” now. Is it the proficiency which has allowed terrorists and bandits surround Abuja? Is it the proficiency of the everyday kidnapping of our children and adults all over the North or the closure of schools in Abuja because of the unexpected influx and infiltration of the capital city by truckloads of bandits?

In case Gen. Attahiru and the other Service Chiefs forget, I chose to remind them now. That at the point they took over from their predecessors, the Nigerian Military was only battling with Boko Haram insurgents/ ISWAP terrorists most dominantly on the fringes of Borno’s Lake Chad Basin area. Now, they are very close; the terrorists have come too close to us in courageous braggadocio.

We can no longer sight the guts to which any glory can be earned by the leaders of the counter-insurgency operations. Who will deliver us now? Nigerians now are only entertained with the barrage of slogans from the Military Chiefs than dexterity in warfare. Military Chiefs often assure us of protections from armed gangs; but the assurance consistently fails every time and everywhere.

Hesitantly, our Military Chiefs are compelling Nigerians to trust the haughty spews of Boko Haram’s factional leader, Abubakar Shekau more than their actions have so far espoused on the battlefield. Shekau boasted two days after these Military Chiefs came into office in a nine-minute video that the new Service Chiefs can’t outshine their predecessors in the fight against insurgency in the Northeast or elsewhere in Nigeria.

Shekau thundered; “(General) Leo Irabor, the head of the military, you should have sympathy for yourself, repent and convert to Islam. There is nothing you can do.” I am confused now! Whose words should I trust as stronger and bear any consequence on Nigerians? That’s why Generals Irabor and Attahiru must tighten their seat belts beyond sloganeering.

Nigeria is running out of patience with itself. Terrorists and bandits are making merriments; whilst Nigerians mourn and agonize in bloodshed, abductions and arsons. Shadows of bandits and terrorists loom large and freely roam our city centers, villages, communities, highways and every conceivable place. Courage has given way to numbing fear in our homes and offices.

One is infinitely perturbed watching the effeminate actions of the COAS and leader of the anti-insurgency operations, Gen. Attahiru and the new Service Chiefs in the theatre of war these three months. It is easier to conclude that Nigeria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are infinitely endangered. It has been donated to the terrorists under these new sheriffs or Military chiefs who initially, held so much promise, but have faltered terribly.

There is neither spark nor gusto in their deportments in the frontlines of the Northeast, Northwest or Southeast. Jubilant armed gangs have seized our peace and security, shattering dwelling places. We are pathetically tossed on bended kneels under these new masters of terror, as Gen. Attahiru gazes elsewhere.

Therefore, Nigerians make bold to demand that at this time in the history of insurgency in the country, there is the dire need for quick actions and not slogans; we want deafeningly positive results beyond the niceties of rehearsed speeches in the conference halls of Abuja and elsewhere. Will the slogans ginger the troops? Will it deliver the desired results? These and many more are the issues confronting us today as a nation. What ought to be done that has been left undone?

We abhor the demons of terror and the Nigerian Military should not foist them on us. We neither want to worship Abubakar Shekau nor bow to the praxis of the bloody swords of the ISIS-backed Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists commanded by Musab Al Barnewi. The armed bandits in the forests and caves of Zamfara, Katsina to Niger states have tormented us enough. Herdsmen should give us a break; and it is a break, which Gen. Attahiru must necessarily impose on them because he is not crowned for a feast of romance with insurgents in the theatre of war.

The rogues camouflaging as secession agitators in the Southeast must be reined in. We seek no protection from some gods; other than our Military. Gen. Attahiru and his colleagues, the Service Chiefs must wake up from slumber to redeem their names and salvage our fatherland in patriotic and true sacrificial service without further delay. We want to again, make bonfires of celebrations, as against the feasts of blood and whines. Like Blesse intoned, our Service Chiefs should immediately show us the guts and the glory now.

Chief Ikpa writes from Abuja.

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NYSC And Ibrahim’s Two Years’ Impactful Leadership – By Leonard Aluor

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A Congolese proverb says; “You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.” The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (DG-NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim is an old administrative gorilla in Nigeria. He has dispensed himself perfectly, both as a soldier and administrator per excellence. Anywhere he berths his feet, it leaves in its trail, remarkable accomplishments.
Like his brief sojourn at the Nigerian Army University (NAU), Biu, Borno state, as pioneer registrar, Gen. Shuaibu’s two years’ stint as the DG-NYSC have similarly ingrained his peculiar mark of excellence as a scholar, an astute administrator, innovator, reformer, team player and goal getter in administering the scheme.
 He has proven exceptionally, the ageless wisdom in the old Ghanaian adage that “All heads are the same, but not all thoughts are the same.” Gen. Shuaib’s thoughts bubbles with germinative ideas, which he monitors closely to fruition.
Gen. Shuaib has changed the fortunes of the NYSC from a wobbling, but sensitive agency of Government to a formidable youth scheme, through dexterous management.
NYSC is now amply meeting its core mandate of bridging the gulf between the years of academic work and the first practical experiences of young Nigerian graduates towards the ideals of ethnic inculturation, repulsion to religious prejudices’, self-reliance and personal development and national productivity.
The DG-NYSC has determinedly faced and overhauled the hitherto dormant Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme of the scheme and turned its dwindling fortunes into harvestable gold for corps members. He has successfully utilized the one month’s practical skills training in the orientation course content for corps members during camps for expansion of personal knowledge in various trades; an antidote to personal development and self-reliance.
Through faithfulness to this policy thrust, Gen. Shuaib is dialoging with The FGN and other relevant stakeholders to formally establish a legislation-backed   NYSC Trust Fund.  The NYSC Trust Fund envisages to source funding from a certain percentage of profits netted by some mega corporate bodies operating in the country; which in addition to financial empowerment of passing out corps members, would confer financial independence in funding NYSC projects such as expansion of orientation camps and renovation of dilapidate camp facilities.
Gen. Shuaib has tenaciously fought and purged the scheme of the menace of corruption in NYSC, evident in the admittance of prospective corps members with fake results. NYSC is no longer an abode for jobless Nigerians or roadside artisans, who never went to school, but dubiously sneaked into the scheme and became perpetual corps members, through his stern physical verification.
The NYSC boss, prioritizes the welfare of corpse members. Under his leadership, the Presidency approved an increment in the monthly allowance of corps members to N33,000, above the prescribed New National Minimum wage. It is intended to create a window for prudent NYSC members to save part of the stipends to invest into employable initiatives after service. And when the NYSC Trust Fund finally takes off, employment would have been dealt devastating punch in the country.
The NYSC leadership is restless and relentless to gain its financial independence, by harnessing initiatives designed to increase revenue flow into the agency. Therefore, the scheme is aggressively pursuing its investments initiatives to boost its income generation, rather than depend on the mono-source of revenue which at the moment majorly falls on the FGN and intensifies its financial stress.
Consequently, the abandoned NYSC water and bakery factories at NYSC orientation camp Kubwa have been revived and functioning maximally.  The NYSC now uses its own water at orientation camps in many parts of the country and the products from these investments are competitively visible in the markets of neighboring states such as Abuja, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and, Niger among others.
Furthermore, Gen. Shuaib’s leadership, the NYSC   has constructed a two thousand bird capacity poultry farm at Kwali, FCT. And it has almost completed the resuscitation of the NYSC Poultry Farm, Ita Ogbolu, Ondo state. He is injecting life into moribund NYSC ventures, as the NYSC Rice Mill Ezillo in Ebonyi is nearing completion for full operations; likewise, the NYSC Feed Mill in Lagos state, which is primed and technologized for the production of animal feeds.
The highly innovative DG-NYSC, in alliance with stakeholders have dialogued and obtained the consent of the State Governors of Edo, Ekiti and Nasarawa states on support for the scheme’s investment drives. These State Governments have graciously donated land for the establishment of NYSC Garment Factories for South -South, Southwest as well as a whooping 16 hectares of land for crops production for revenue generation and platforms of training of more corps members in industrial and agricultural capacities.
And through the direction of the NYSC boss, the first time ever, NYSC Wood (Film Company) and NYSC National Cultural Troupe have been established.  And he has secured their thriving and sustenance by striking a smooth relationship with National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) for the proper indoctrination, training of corps members and technical supports.
Gen. Shuaib has repositioned the NYSC to begin to disseminate and articulate its activities to the public. He has therefore secured an operational license for the scheme’s proposed radio station, where corps members will directly be empowered to speak to Nigerians wherever they are domiciled for the primary assignment.
Partnership with relevant agencies, bodies and corporate organizations for the benefits of serving corps members is a focal policy of the Brigadier Gen. Shuaib’s administration.  So far, the NYSC under his directorship has partnered a dozen of such organizations for the personal development of corps members and national productivity.
Gen. Shuaibu recognized instantly that the diversification of the economy through agriculture was a central policy and obsession of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. He has spared no stone in ensuring corps members are trained on the latest farming techniques and encouraged to embrace agriculture as their contribution to national food security.
In the pursuit of this laudable vision, as soon as Gen. Shuaib assumed duties at NYSC, he revamped the scheme’s four farm settlements across the country as part of efforts to key into the FGN’s agriculture diversification initiative. NYSC mega farms in Abuja, Bauchi, Kebbi and Oyo states have been activated.
Corps members have also been compelled to embrace the FGN’s rice policy programmes  and excitingly, the scheme massively  cultivated  rice in  its Abuja  and Kebbi farms in the 2020 cropping season; as in  the  2021 farming season,  its  rice farm at Ezillo, Ebonyi state, would join the fray of robust NYSC rice fields. And the hectarage of its farmland rose astronomically from 60 hectares to 160 hectares in the 2020 farming season.
To this end, the NYSC also partnered for the training of   68 corps members among the 269 pioneer graduates,  trained  as soil doctors and extension services workers,  by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) in collaboration with the  Government of Borno state. It is a major step towards the rejuvenation of agricultural engagements in the country.
Additionally, the NYSC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Leventis Foundation Nigeria on training of corps members in agricultural best practices.  The initiative is also to fully empower corps members with the relevant skills, bolster self-reliance and avail them incentives that would encourage the pursuit of food sufficiency in the country.
Similarly, the modalities’ have been worked out between the NYSC and the British American Tobacco Nigeria   Foundation for the training for corps members on agro-allied related ventures. And Gen. Shauib also induced corps member to enlist in the national battle against the raging Covid-19 pandemic, which they participated excellently.
The Ghanaians have also posited in a proverb that; “If we put a hammer in every person’s hand, could they all become blacksmiths?” But Gen. Ibrahim Shuaib has demonstrated his competence as a blacksmith, who has effectively applied the hammer in his hands in the management of NYSC.
Aluor is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Oduduwa University, Ife.

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