The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to the tune of N75 billion.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The NYIF, also tagged ‘the Youth Bank’, would create a finance support base for creativity and innovation of Nigerian youths within the age range of 18 and 35 years.
Dare, said Nigerian youths with ideas and innovation would be able to apply for funding from the Youth Bank.
He said: “The modality would entail those between the ages of 18 and 35 years and who have genuine business ideas would be eligible to pitch their ideas in any of the 125 micro-credit banks across the country and qualified candidates would have access to the funds.
“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. 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 best way to call it is that for the first time the country will have a youth bank. A fund that will cater specifically for our youth within the stipulated age band, which is going to be between 18 and 35 year.”
According to the Youth and Sports Minister, the Ministry would further fine-tune modalities for the youth empowerment scheme, while the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria would also play key roles in floating the scheme.
“The second approval that secured was for the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to play a lead role in working on necessary steps that need to be taken in terms of legislation, organisation and other aspects of financing.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning will take the lead when it comes to the aspect of financing, working with the CBN, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and other relevant MDAs.
“A couple of other details will be released later, but I think the most important thing is that the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, to cater specifically for this target group, a population of over 68 million, got the attention and support of the Federal Executive Council today and this fund will be assessed by our youths, once they are able to present their ideas, they can assess this fund directly,” Dare said.
He, however, assured that just as the N-Power programme, the process of the Youth Bank would be digital and fair to all youth aged between 18 and 35 years, regardless of their ethnicity or social status, stressing that “all eligible Nigerian youth that fall within the stipulated ages can assess this fund directly but they will have to prove through the necessary documentation that they fall within the age range.”