The Federal government has officially flagged off the start of the National Youth Investment Fund applications process.
Minister of Youth & Sports Development t. Mr. Sunday Dare made this announcement on Thursday in Abuja when he addresses major unfolding issues relating to the initiative.
“It is my pleasure to address you as we record yet another milestone in our drive to increase the government’s investment in our youth, who we recognize as assets and not problems. This mindset is the impetus that propelled us to approach the Federal Executive Council to approve the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) as a ringfenced Fund for the Nigerian youth, our own sort of a Youth Bank.
“The Federal Executive Council on July 22, 2020, thus approved the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to the tune of N75 billion spread over three years to cater to youth-owned businesses and investment needs. Following the approval, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development set up three distinct bodies to work out the operationalization of the Fund.
“These are A Steering Committee which is chaired by me with the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as members.
“There is also the Technical Committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Youth and Sports Development with other members drawn from the relevant MDAs with representatives from the CBN, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning among others. More importantly, there is the Focal Group, largely made up of youth that was selected based on their knowledge and specialized areas of expertise with the major task of being a springboard for gauging youth’s perception, expectations, and input to the Fund.
“I am pleased to inform you that membership of the three groups is on the basis of volunteer work and is therefore unpaid. The commitment with which they worked ensured that we are able to rapidly get to the stage we are at today. For me, this commitment signifies the drive and passion that the Nigerian Youth are renowned.
“These three groups were within this short time able to harmonize the input of stakeholders such that the delivery vehicle that guarantees access for all eligible youth was immediately prepared to commence the application, processing, and disbursement of the Fund. The assignment of the three groups culminated in NISRAL Microfinance Bank being selected as a disbursement agency, given its reach and spread which ensure that youth across the country have access to apply for the Fund.
“I must mention the support we enjoyed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which in line with Mr. President’s directive, provided the initial N12.5 billion naira required for the Fund to operate in the remainder of the year 2020. We are also grateful that the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning has on its part committed to providing the next tranche of the Fund in the 2021 Budget.
“With the great work put in place by stakeholders and in line with Mr. President’s desire to increase investment in the youth, the loan provided under NYIF has an interest rate of 5% per annum. Youth applying as an individual or non-registered businesses are able to draw up to two hundred and fifty thousand nairas (₦250,000.00), while youth-owned registered businesses can apply for up to three million naira (₦3,000,000.00). Loans are with a tenure of five years and a moratorium of up to 12 months.
“Our commitment to seeing the youth succeed is such that the loan is bundled with training that will ensure business sustainability for successful applicants. It is my belief that the Fund will grow to become a permanent feature of our society when beneficiaries run successful businesses and repay their loans.
It is the least that beneficiaries of this round of Funding can do for those coming after them.
“It is therefore my pleasure to officially announce the start of the NYIF application process.
Speaking also was the permanent Secretary Ministry in of Youth Mr. Gabriel Aduda he expressed: “It’s historic in any way, it’s happening for the first time for the Development all Nigerians Youth.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Ministry of Youth.
Also Speaking the representation of Central Bank of Nigeria CBN the Director of Development Finance Department Mr. Philip Yila Yusuf commended the creativity of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development.
According to him, the process is quite democratic, we are encouraging all youth to apply to contribute to national development N12.5billion is readily available for youth to grab.