Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said it will give N3million each to empower eligible youths under the Youth Initiative Empowerment Development Programme YIEDP.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the CBN Governor, Mr.Godwin Emefiele, made the disclosure at the launch of YIEDP in Abuja yesterday.
The governor said that the programme is open to youths who are either serving in the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC or those who have not spent more than five years post-NYSC service, adding that credit line will be made available up to three million naira to each eligible youth, thereby fixing the problem of inadequate finance often encountered by business start-ups.
Mr. Emefeile also said that receptions that utilise the funds properly can be encouraged to migrate to the other CBN interventions wherein they would access more funds.
Emefiele explained that N210billion had been set aside for the programme and that the collateral for accessing the fund is simple as it will include assets such as academic and NYSC certificates, third party guarantees and other movable assets.
“This programmes will be an equal opportunity programmed across gender and geo-political zones and we have developed a robust operational framework to deliver a bias-free per-qualification and selection process,” he said.
He noted that CBN is targeting 10,000 youths with the aim of creating one million direct jobs in productive activities within the next four years.
According to Emefiele, the National Bureau of Statistics has indicated that they are over 36.3million youths in Nigeria’s labour force, out of whom 13.6 million are either underemployed or unemployed.
He noted that many talented youths in the country are constrained by seed funding which is very scarce.
He explained that, to address the situation, CBN in collaboration with NYSC came up with the initiative.
Also speaking, the NYSC Director-General, Brig. Gen Johnson Olawumi said YIEDP is focused at providing world class training and start- up capital to corps members who had indicated interest in Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship, SAED.
Olawunmi said the initiative was designed to complement other interventions in funding corps members’ proposals under the NYSC SAED programme.
He explained that since the inception of SAED, the NYSC scheme had trained over 500,000 ex-corps members in various agro-based skills but not all were empowered due to inadequate funds.
He noted that, under the new concept of YIEDP, which had liberalised the lending terms, corps member entrepreneurs would enjoy unhindered access to start-up funds.
He explained that corps members who intended to access the fund were expected to undergo a world class entrepreneurship development training facilitated by CBN and heritage bank.
“They will submit electronically, a bankable business plans as well as provide a reliable guarantor and their NYSC certificates will serve as collateral for beneficiaries,’’ he said.
He admonished serving corps members to take advantage of the opportunity by coming up with creative ideas and bankable business plans which could make them access the fund.

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