An estimated 500,000 youth will benefit from the N75 billion approved by the federal government under the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF).
On Wednesday, Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports development, announced that the federal executive councilapproved the establishment of NYIFto the tune of N75 billion.
The NYIF is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills, talents and enterprise of the Nigerian youth with the aim of turning them into enterprenuers.
In a statement issued by his media office on Friday, Dare said the funding targets 500,000 youth annually.
He said a minimum of N25 billion will be disbursed each year for the next three years, totalling N75 billion.
Dare said for the remaining part of 2020, an initial sum of N12.5 billion will be needed to commence the NYIF.
He added that the initiative, which is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to address unemployment in the country, will be sustained by successive governments.
“The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) a ringfenced funding that will strictly cater to the investment needs of persons between the ages of 18 and 35 years old,” the statement read.
“NYIF joins the slew of youth focused programs already in place by the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government as part of a National Plan to combat youth unemployment and drive innovation, fuel entrepreneurship as well as support youth SMEs.
“NYIF provides a single window of Investment Fund for the youth, thereby creating a common bucket for all Nigerian youth to access Government support.
“Providing a less cumbersome access to credit and finance for the average Nigerian youth with an approved work plan or business idea will help lift thousands of the youth out of poverty and birth a whole generation of entrepreneurs.
“The fund aims to reach 500,000 youth annually between 2020 and 2023. Each fund approval will range from N250,000 to N50,000,000, with a spread across group applications, individual applications, working capital loans set at 1 year and term loans set at 3 years with single digit interest rate of 5%.”
Dare said disbursement of the fund will be through various channels, which will include micro credit organisations across the country under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) supported by the Bank of Industry, fintech organisations and venture capital organisations registered with the CBN.
According to him, the ministry of finance, budget and national planning and the CBN will provide the initial financing for NYIF, while youth seeking to benefit from the fund must have genuine business ideas and registered business entities.
He added that such persons must be citizens of Nigeria and must be able to provide recognised means of identification and guarantors.