President Muhammadu Buhari says over one million Nigerians have applied for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) since the portal opened on October 12, 2020.
Buhari, represented by Muhammad Bello, minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), disclosed this during his message on the National Youth Day celebration on Sunday.
The NYIF, which was approved by the federal executive council (FEC) on July 22, 2020, targets young people between ages 18-35 years and is expected to last for a period of three years (2020-2023).
Buhari said: “Today we will unveil the official logo of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund for the period of 2020 – 2023.
This novel fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian youth and to provide our youth with a special window to access much needed financing, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise.
“Over a million applications have already been received since the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) portal went live on October 12, 2020”.
Describing Nigerian youth as agents for social change, economic growth, and sustainable development; Buhari said his administration has established over 25 initiatives aimed at empowering youth across the country.
According to him some of the youth-based initiatives include: the “Nigerian Youth Policy in 2019; Nigeria Youth Investment Fund in July 2020; Young Farmers Initiative; Digital Skills, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership/Mentoring (DEEL) programme, which recently received an approval of N4 billion for implementation; and the Not Too Young to Run Act.”
Other initiatives, he said, include: the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES); N-Power; SI and Disaster Management; the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme; Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS); and the Youth Enterprise with Innovation In Nigeria (YouWIN).
Buhari further said the youth are better positioned to drive the indivisibility of Nigeria and collectively overcome whatever challenges the nation is facing.
“On this special occasion, we affirm our faith and confidence in the indivisible entity called Nigeria and in its future. We face many challenges but, in you, this nation has the collective ability and drive to overcome that which confronts us.”