NO fewer than 41, 161 graduates have benefitted from the Graduate Internship Scheme, GIS of the Federal Government, supervised by the Ministry of Finance. Facilitator of the programme in Ogun State, Abubakar Orumah confirmed the development to journalists in Abuja that the changes currently being witnessed in Nigerian is a product of the resilience of the Nigerian youth. Orumah, who is the Director of Abusanigo Global Concept, a consulting firm based in Abuja urged the participants to use the opportunity of the internship period to face the challenges and attendant curiosities in life. “It has also brought you to a crossroad where you are now able to ask yourself the question of who you have become through the process of the GIS and how that has prepared you for where you want to be in future,” he added. Orumah said that 60 participants graduated from the programme in Ogun on Sept. 3 after 12 months of internship and were presented with certificate by the Ministry of Finance. He said the certificate was in recognition of the participants’ skill during the programme. According to him, the scheme is initiated by government to assist young graduates to become employers rather than seeking for job. “So far, 41,161 graduates have benefitted from the scheme, with 68 per cent males, 31 per cent females and 1 per cent vulnerable. “Over 35,000 have exited the scheme, with thousands of them having secured jobs; many have secured credit facilities and grants to expand businesses they set up using GIS stipends. “Many have set up cooperative associations, some of which have transformed into SMEs. “The programme presents an opportunity for graduate interns to gain employment in organisations where they worked and in other establishments or self- employment,” Orumah said. He noted that the scheme had demonstrated high prospects for job creation and social protection of the youth since its inception. He also noted that Nigerian youth have proven that no amount of pressure, threats and inducement can derail their resolve for change when they are focused. He commended the public, private and non- governmental organisations that have over the years demonstrated their commitment to the Nigerian youth by agreeing to partner with the scheme and host graduates for 12 months. Orumah urged the graduates of the programme to join hands with government to achieve its task of national development. He assured that government was working hard to ensure that unemployed graduates acquire skills which will make them employers of labour. He added: “As long as thousands of graduates still remain unemployed, I assure you that government will continue to improve the capacity of the scheme to absorb more applicants. “My hope is that the GIS will be yet, another example that Nigeria will sell to the world as a way out of graduate unemployment. “It is also my hope that some years down the line, the GIS interns will galvanise different sectors, especially the non-oil sector, which is the new focus of the Nigerian economy.