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Presidential Youths Investment Fund Gets ₦110 Billion

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CEM REPORT, SME | Nigeria’s youth population is a powerhouse, brimming with potential. However, access to funding has long been a hurdle for young entrepreneurs. In a move aimed at addressing this challenge, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved a significant investment if ₦110 billion for the Presidential Youths Investment Fund.

According to the Minister of Youth Development Jamila Ibrahim, on Monday while briefing State House journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the investment builds upon the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), initially established in 2020.

Recognizing its potential, the current administration commissioned a technical committee to review and restructure the program. This review aims to create a more robust and sustainable framework through a legal framework, ultimately leading to the establishment of a permanent Nigerian Youth Fund.

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“I am pleased to announce the Council’s approval to restructure and institutionalize the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund,” Ibrahim declared.

Presidential Youths Investment Fund Breakdown

Ibrahim outlined the breakdown of the funds. The Ministry secured an immediate release of ₦25 billion from the 2023 supplementary Appropriation Act, with an additional ₦25 billion to follow from the 2024 Appropriation Act’s Development Fund. This initial tranche of ₦50 billion provides a springboard for youth-led businesses.

₦60 Billion for Young Businesses in Agriculture and SMEs

The government’s commitment extends beyond the initial ₦50 billion. The FEC also approved an additional ₦60 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its agricultural investment program for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This additional funding stream provides further support for young entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses in the crucial agricultural and SME sectors.

Investment Clusters and Patient Loan Recovery

Recognizing the challenges faced by young businesses, particularly in their initial stages, the program incorporates innovative elements. The Minister announced the establishment of investment clusters focused on commodities with a comparative advantage across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. These clusters are designed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among young entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, the program emphasizes a patient approach to loan recovery. This shift allows young businesses time to incubate and reach a point of financial stability before loan repayments commence. This approach aims to increase the success rate of youth-led ventures.

Partnering with Relevant Ministries for Implementation

Ibrahim highlighted the importance of collaboration in successfully implementing the program. She expressed hope for partnerships with relevant line ministries, including the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Creative Economy, and Ministry of Digital Economy, to ensure effective execution of the initiative.

A Step Toward Youth Empowerment

This ₦110 billion investment represents a significant step forward in empowering young Nigerians. By providing access to funding, fostering collaboration, and offering patient loan recovery strategies, the program has the potential to unlock the entrepreneurial potential of a generation. The success of the initiative will hinge on its effective implementation and the ability to reach young Nigerians across the country.

While the initiative presents exciting possibilities, challenges remain. Ensuring transparency and efficient disbursement of funds will be crucial. Additionally, equipping young entrepreneurs with the necessary business skills and mentorship will be essential for long-term success.

The revamped Presidential Youths Investment Fund represents a significant step forward. With careful implementation and ongoing support, this program has the potential to unlock the entrepreneurial potential of Nigeria’s youth and drive economic growth for years to come.

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