The Federal Government has pledged to support in the growth and sustenance of the one-year-old Sierra Leonean National Youth Service scheme.
The Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, made the promise when he received a delegation from the National Youth Service of Sierra Leone and the Sierra-Leonean Ministry of Youths on Tuesday in Abuja.
Kazaure said the scheme would share with the Sierra Leone national youth service, its challenges and successes which would provide more insight into how best it can succeed and sustain the programme.
He said that the scheme would also share with the organisation the strategies it had put in place over the years which has enabled the scheme succeed in all areas of its endeavour.
“The NYSC though continues to count successes in all areas; it has not had it smooth. The scheme continues to face challenges even though we always make the effort to address them as they come.
“Currently the scheme mobilises over 300,000 corps members yearly and that is a challenge for us because this number increases every year.
“We always have to contend with availability of facilities to cater for this increasing number,’’ Kazaure said.
Earlier, Dr Sheku Kamara, the Sierra Leone Presidential Adviser on Youth, who led the delegation, said the government was ‘eternally indebted’ to Nigeria for supporting it in times of war and peace.
Kamara recalled that Nigeria was by the side of Sierra Leone when it struggled with the Ebola crisis, adding that it is also coming to its assistance now in the development of its national youth service.
He said the team was visiting the NYSC to see what examples and lessons can be learnt and possibly implement back in the country.
“We are here to learn from the 44 years of the existence of the NYSC. We are here to see what lessons we can learn and take back with us.
“Our main aim of visiting is to get a study tour to find out from you what have been your challenges, successes and what we should do to make our youth service stronger and gain success within a short time.
“We have researched a lot from countries that have voluntary youth service after graduation from the university and I am proud to say that Nigeria emerged the best example in Africa.
“Our youth service has only been in existence for a year now so it is still very new. We want to try and see that we do not make mistakes so that we can be assured of its success,” Kamara said.
Members of the delegation included Prof. David Koroma, the Chairman, National Youth Service (NYS) Board, Sierra Leone, and Dr Mohammed Bah, the Executive Secretary, NYS.
Others are Mr Ibrahim Kamara, the Deputy Executive Director, NYS; Mr Charles M, Director Youth, Ministry of Youths, Sierra Leone; and Mrs Marie Kamara, the UN Liason Officer to the Ministry of Youths.