Embrace Skill Acquisition For Economic Emancipation – Ex-Director To Ondo Corps Members

By Simeon Bankole

A retired Director of the National Youth Service Corps, Chief (Evang) Gabriel Ojo Alonge has described the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme of the Scheme as the life wire to economic emancipation which all corps members must key into.

Alonge, who retired as Director, Procurement Department about 10 years ago stated this while delivering Motivational lectures to the 2023 Batch ‘B’ (Stream 1) corps members at NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Ikare-Akoko.

According to the one-time State NYSC Award Winner, a feat which fetched him automatic employment into the noble Scheme as an Inspector II at the end of 1980/81 service year in Borno State, Alonge urged the members of the service corps to take advantage of the intervention to turn around their fortunes during and after the service year.

“My dear children, your parents and guardians have offered you an education which will give you leverage in society while the NYSC as a noble organisation has invested in your future by bringing to your doorstep the intervention known as the SAED programme which has been designed to fortify you against joblessness and poverty during and after the service year”.

“There was no such opportunity during our time but corps members mobilised into the Scheme 11 years ago have been exposed to this gold mine which has moved several thousands of graduate youths away from the streets into becoming entrepreneurs, captains of industries as well as employers of labour” he explained.

The motivational speaker who served as State Coordinator in some states notably Abia and Plateau advised the corps members to take the in-camp training conscientiously as the foundation laid during the orientation course would be built upon in the course of the service year.

The recipient of 1997 NYSC Staff Merit Award in the Inspectorate Cadre asserted that the legion of graduate youths passing through the NYSC have the requisite knowledge, experience and competence to transform the nation’s economic hub which will be an envy in the comity of nations.

“NYSC has the largest assemblage of creative and dedicated youths that have all the required competence and technical know-how to rebuild this nation economically and technologically. I want to implore you to make a difference by acquiring both the leadership training and skills that will make you hotcakes and the most sought-after personalities in the foreseeable future”.

As a father, Evangelist Alonge cautioned the members of the service corps to be wary of what they proclaim with their mouth because according to biblical injunction, ‘out of the abundance of heart, the mouth speaks’.

Corroborating the need to have a positive mindset, Alonge who received an award from the Diocese of Ijumu (Anglican Communion) for his contributions and dedication to the spiritual growth of Ijumu in 2019 supported his conviction from Matthew 12 v 35 which says ‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of his evil treasure bring forth evil things’.

A native of Iyamoye in Ijumu Local Government of Kogi State, Chief Alonge who has won several awards and received outstanding honours to his credit challenged the corps members to think of what they can do for the country and make it grow and develop.

“Your mobilisation and subsequent deployment to Ondo State should be seen as a divine and clarion call to make your impact felt during the service year and not as birds of passage. The founding fathers of this Scheme laid a strong and solid foundation which successive corps members have built upon and I am here to admonish you to surpass their achievements because if they can think it, you possess the will to surpass them”.

Alonge who was honoured with the chieftaincy title of Olusakin of Iyamoye by the Obaro of Iyamoye in Council in 2012 publicly acknowledged the immense contributions of the State Coordinator, Mrs. Victoria Nnenna Ani to youth development in the country.

“Mrs. Victoria Nnenna Ani is an administrator of sound character and woman of integrity who has brought her experience and administrative competence to bear on the development of the Scheme in Ondo State. I follow the activities of NYSC Ondo State on social media and I can conveniently say that her positive achievements speak volumes.”

He continued, ‘I cannot expect less from her because we worked together for several years at the Directorate Headquarters, Abuja and she displayed great acumen. Apart from this fact, she is married to Chief Anthony Ani, a retired Director of the Scheme as well who is known in the NYSC family as an administrator of administrators who is very cerebral and scholarly’.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the State Coordinator, Mrs. Victoria Nnenna Ani said NYSC is blessed to have Chief (Evang) Alonge as one of the forthright and straightforward personalities who gave his entire working life building and mentoring the younger generations.

“Gentlemen corps members, it is a thing of joy and blessing to have the personality of Chief (Evang) Alonge in your midst today who rose through the ranks and broke all barriers to get to the top. You will be doing yourselves great harm if you fail to drink from his wealth of experience. He is fully loaded with ideas capable of changing your life for the better and it is my wish that you take advantage of his motivational lecture”.

Chief (Evang) Alonge in his usual characteristic manner, extended his generosity to the Overall Parade Commander as reminiscent of his service year experience during which he was then the Overall Parade Commander, as well as the corps member who gave the vote of thanks for his brilliant delivery of a well-packaged speech.

Alonge, who has in his kitty a Distinguished National Adviser Award of the Gambia National Youth Service Scheme in 2000 retired in 2013 and has devoted his retirement life to raising Godly youths for the Kingdom, as well as the development and growth of the Iyamoye community.

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