The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, approved the establishment of a N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to support enterprise among 68 million Nigerian youths between ages 18 and 35.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
NAN reports that the approved fund is the first-ever approved specifically for youths.
Dare described it as a fund “that will cater specifically for our youths within the stipulated age bracket which is going to be between 18 and 35 years,” and said that the funds will be distributed through micro-credit banks in the country.
“This fund will be assessed by our youths, once they are able to present their ideas, they can assess this fund directly,’’ he further explained.
What this means
The minister explained that the funds will not just be randomly distributed among youths, but will be used to assist the most qualified ones with genuine business ideas.
“For the first time in the history of Nigeria, the Federal Executive Council today approved the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to the tune of N75 billion,” he said.
He explained that qualified youths who fall within the stipulated age bracket and have genuine business ideas “can approach any of the 125 micro-credit banks across the country to access it.
“This fund is meant to create a special window for accessing credit facilities and financing on the part of our youths that will help to fund their ideas, innovations and also support their enterprise.”
The youth and sports minister assured that the scheme would be closely supervised by the ministry, and would not be hijacked by politicians.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning will take the lead when it comes to the aspect of financing, working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and other relevant MDAs,” he added.
Since the declaration of a nationwide lockdown, the federal government has introduced several schemes that are supposed to ease the effects of the lockdown on Nigerians, and stimulate the economy again.
This N75billion Investment Fund is only the latest of these schemes, and is targeted at stimulating enterprise and business among the youth population.