The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun will meet with the representative of Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin) beneficiaries across the Federations on July 22, 2016 in Abuja with the aim of getting their input in reshaping the youth entrepreneurship programme inherited from the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Adeosun has expressed a desire to have the programme restructured and refocused with the objective of injecting new ideas for its sustainability.
Representatives of the beneficiaries drawn from the six-geo-political zones and other stakeholders have been invited to chart a way forward for the programme.
Under the programme which took off in 2011, a total of 18, 000 young entrepreneurs have been trained in various aspects of Small and Medium Enterprises management and business skills; and 3, 900 of them, including 1, 200 women, were each given non-repayable take-off grants for businesses of their choice ranging from N1 million up to a maximum of N10 million.
The third edition of the programme, which is still running with 1,500 beneficiaries, has received the sum of N11.2 billion in funding, and so far grants totaling N7.4 billion have been disbursed to the awardees. In June 2016 alone, the sum of N1.687 billion was paid to 638 awardees.
Adeosun, said that as part of the change agenda of the current administration, the YouWin programme has to be restructured to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability in investing the capital grants given to the beneficiaries by the Federal Government.
Adeosun also confirmed that all FG commitments under the YouWIN programme will be fully met, but due diligence would be carried out on every beneficiary, using tools like the Bank Verification Number (BVN), before disbursements are made.
Meanwhile the minister has also directed all staff of the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND), to immediately return to their duty posts as the crisis within the organisation has been resolved.
The National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) was established in 1989 to provide medium to long-term financing to viable Small and Medium scale production enterprises to increase the quantity of goods and services available for local consumption and export, provide needed employment, expand our production base and add value to the economy.
The Fund has so far extended credit facilities for 2, 829 projects valued N9.5 billion between 1989 and 1999. All Nigerians are qualified to apply for NERFUND loans either as individuals, Associations, Cooperatives or Corporate Entities/partner institutions.