As part of the Federal Government’s desire to tackle the issue of unemployment in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has recently approved the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund which will fast track the potentials of Nigerian youths to become entrepreneurs, wealth creators, and employers of labour.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Youth & Sport Development, the fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills, talents, and enterprise of the Nigerian Youth who on the long run will contribute to national development.
The NYIF will be started with an initial sum of N12.5 billion and during the course of the next three years, a total of N75 billion will be required to ring fence the NYIF. Furthermore, the NYIF is restricted for the sole purpose of Youth Investment and will strictly cater to the investment needs of persons between the ages of 18 & 35.
In terms of benefitting from the fund, youths must have a fundable business idea, registered business (such as SMEs), be a citizen of Nigeria, present recognized means of identification as will be required, and guarantors. The safeguards built around some specifics being crafted around the fund will ensure that potential beneficiaries do not need to know anyone or be “connected” to access the fund.
As a matter of fact, the NYIF will only invest in businesses that have deeper value than only money. Such businesses must however be viable and able to fulfill all criteria to ensure the fund does continue to expand and serve as a production factory for businesses.
Disbursement will be through various channels, which will include Micro Credit Finance Organizations across the country under the Central Bank of Nigeria supported by BOI, Fintech Organizations, and Venture Capital Organizations, registered with the CBN. NYIF will use proven disbursement frameworks but with special conditions with respect to the youth. There will also be a residual advisory facility for applicants and beneficiaries.
“By approving the establishment of the NYIF, President Buhari has demonstrated his unflinching support for the Nigerian Youth and his implicit confidence in their innovative talents, potentials, industry. NYIF will accelerate Nigeria’s investment in the ideas of her youth” said Mr. Dare Sunday, Minister of Youth and Sport Development.
According to him, “it is our collective responsibility to ensure that we provide adequate resources to meet the basic needs of our teeming youth”.