The Federal Government on Thursday said it was planning to establish Youth Bank as part of its youth empowerment programme.
Sunday Dare, the minister of youths and sports development, stated this on Thursday at the 52nd briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team, at the State House, Abuja.
Dare revealed that the instruments for the establishment of the bank will be presented to the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) early next year for approval.
According to him, his ministry has empowered 31,000 youths under the Nigeria Youth Development Funds and has so far received only N10 billion out of the N25 billion for 2022.
The Federal Government had created the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) as part of efforts to empower youths in the area of entrepreneurship, to be driven by the ministry of youth and sports development.
The N75billion fund was approved by the FEC, for Nigerian youths to support entrepreneurship for the over 68 million Nigerian youths between ages 18 and 35.
“I have discussed the plans with Mr. President and he had given us his commitment to support the creation of such a bank that will solely cater for our youths in the area of entrepreneurship
“The African Development Bank (AFDB) has concluded plans to partner with our ministry and once the banks come on stream, they are ready to roll out the necessary support”
“You can imagine what it will mean for the youths to have their own bank that will be giving out loans on a single digit interest”
“We have so far empowered 31,000 youths out of the 45,000 approved, to receive up to N250,000 from the N10 billion Youth Development Fund.
Dare, who disclosed that 61,000 youths applied for the cyber security programme currently run by the ministry, added that “the youth bank was the future of decent jobs for our youth and expected to disburse loans on single digit interest rate.”
The funds are being disbursed by the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) engaged as the vehicle for the disbursement of the funds.
BusinessDay gathered that over four million youths had applied for the loans out of which 45,000 were shortlisted
According to Dare, “the future of that fund is bright. What we have done is to ensure that only those who are qualified, with the relevant business plans are shortlisted and eventually empowered
Speaking also on the recently launched 10 Football Master Plan, the minister said the plan will be implemented by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)
He described 2022 as an outstanding year in the history of sports and youth development in Nigeria.
“We are not resting on our oars. This administration will ensure that we leave behind, a legacy in youth development that will serve as a reference point for others.