By Stanley Onyekwere
The Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has described the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Annual Sports and Cultural Festival as a catalyst for promoting national unity in the country.
Bello while declaring open the 2019-NYSC Sports and Cultural Festival in Abuja, said the competitions will not only see to the development of youth, but will also encourage healthy interaction among Corps members of diverse sociocultural backgrounds.
The Minister commended the management of NYSC for providing such platform for showcasing and developing the talents of youth, pledged FCT Administration’s continued support for NYSC, especially through the provision of the necessary facilities that will ensure the welfare of Corps members.
“The importance of the NYSC annual Sports and cultural festival cannot be overemphasized as it will further contribute to our efforts at promoting national unity.
“The Sports competitions will not only see to the development of our youths but will also encourage healthy interaction among Corps members of diverse sociocultural backgrounds.
“The cultural aspect of the festival has its significance in encouraging our youths to appreciate and contribute towards preserving our cultural heritage. I am confident that the entire event will also contribute towards boosting our gains in the tourism sector.”
Bello however, called on Nigerians to continue supporting the scheme, not only for the success of events such as this, but also for the overall achievement of its mandate.
“I commend the NYSC management for organising this event as part of its programmes geared towards the development and mentoring of our youth.
“I wish, at this point to call on all participants to compete healthily and imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and I urge the judges to be upright and fair in all their decisions.”
Earlier, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Suleiman Ibrahim, said the festival which was introduced over 35 years ago with the aim of showcasing Corps members’ talents in sports and culture as well as serves as a veritable platform for the promotion of national unity and integration.
He disclosed that the scheme is currently expanding the focus of the festival to include the grooming of talented youths who will ultimately pursue their career in the sports and entertainment industry.
Speaking further, Ibrahim disclosed that the scheme has given opportunity to serving corps members to feature in the NYSC movie ‘A Call to Service’ which is currently under production.
He disclosed that, the movie apart from the entertainment function is packaged as a tool for public sensitization on the role of stakeholders of the scheme including individuals and various tiers of government, corps employers as well as serving and prospective corps members as spelt out in the NYSC Acts.
“This is in addition to the provision of platform for development of Corps members through the NYSC National Football Club.
“The club which is currently in the National Amateur League Division 2 and will compete in the FCT FA Cup at the end of this month. We are confident of winning and representing NYSC at the national level.”