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The Federal Government has commended the National Youth Service Corps for contributing to the on-going efforts at containing the spread of COVID-19 through the production of face masks, antiseptic liquid soap and hand sanitizer for public usage.

The commendation came today in Abuja during the public unveiling of the face masks, liquid soap and hand sanitizer produced by Corps Members as well as a foot-operated liquid soap, water and hand sanitizer dispenser fabricated by a Jos-based youth in partnership with the Youth Innovation and Development Programme of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

Speaking at the ceremony held at the Ministry’s Headquarters, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare said the event was organized to celebrate the resourcefulness of Nigerian youths at a time the nation needed the contributions of all and sundry towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

He remarked that the country’s youths had risen to the challenge to help in containing the spread of the Coronavirus, especially by making available essential protective items such as the face masks, antiseptic liquid soap and hand sanitizer produced in thousands by Corps Members at the NYSC Garment Factories and its skill centres in many States.

“Today, I am proud to wear a face mask produced by the youths of this country. I thank the Director-General of NYSC for leading Corps Members across the country in an excellent manner,” he added.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, said President Muhammadu Buhari would be proud of the Corps Members and the fabricator of the hands-free dispenser, especially because their products satisfied the requirements of the present administration’s policy on local content.

Keyamo, who noted that face masks and sanitizers would be gold mines for the country even beyond the COVID-19 period, stressed the need for Nigerians both at home and abroad to support the Corps Members by investing in their products with a view to fine-tuning, mass producing and even exporting them.

He encouraged the Corps Members to continue to make innovations for self-reliance and went on to assure them of his Ministry’s support.

Also commenting, the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, commended the Corps Members and the fabricator of the hands-free dispenser for their ingenuity, and urged Nigerians to encourage them to do more by patronizing their products.

In his address, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, said the face masks, liquid soap and hand sanitizer made by Corps Members were part of the skills imparted on them through the Scheme’s Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Programme.

He added that a Corps member had also fabricated and donated a foot-operated liquid soap and sanitizer dispenser to the Kano State Government in aid of its efforts to check the spread of the virus.

Ibrahim said in addition to the production of the protective items, Corps members were also engaged in awareness creation on the COVID-19.

The Director-General appealed to Nigerians to harness the potentials of the Corps members for the success of the on-going efforts to combat COVID-19 as well other national development endeavours.

Highlights of the occasion were the explanation of production processes and products’ usage by the Corps Members, who made the face masks, liquid soaps and sanitizer, and the fabricator of the dispenser; formal handover of the NYSC products to the Ministry; and test-running of the dispenser by the high level personalities in attendance. A two-minute sensitization video made by Corps Members was also presented at the ceremony.

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