The Federal Government on Thursday said there are plans for the establishment of Naional Youth Bank as part of its youth empowerment program in the country with an investment of about N75 billion.
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, revealed this to State House correspondents on Thursday at the 52nd briefing organized by the Presidential Media Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
This was even as the two gold medalists at the recently concluded Commonwealth games Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume said they were expecting MFR (Member of the Federal Republic) award but were shocked to be given OON (Officer of the Order of Niger) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister revealed that the instruments for the establishment of the bank will be presented to the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) early next year for approval.
Dare who revealed that his Ministry has empowered 31,000 youths under the Nigeria Youth Development Funds (NYDF), said the Ministry has so far received only N10 billion out of the N25 billion for the year, 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 Ministry of Youth and Sports Development
The N75 billion fund was approved by the Federal Executive Council ( FEC), for Nigerian youths to support entrepreneurship for the over 68 million Nigerian youths between ages 18 and 35.
He said, “I have discussed the plans with Mr. President and he had given us his commitments to support the creation of such 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 interests”
“We have so far empowered 31,000 youths out of the 45,000 approved, to receive between N250,000 from the N10 billion youth development funds.”
Dare who disclosed that 61,000 youth applied for cyber security program currently run by the Ministry, added that “ the Youth bank is the future of decent jobs for our youth, that is expected to disburse loans on single digit interest rates.”
The funds is being disbursed by the Development Bank of Nigeria( DBN) engaged as the vehicle for the disbursement of the funds.
According to the Minister, over four million youths had applied for the loans out of which 45,000 were shortlisted.
“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, Dare said.
The Minister, who also spoke on the recently launched 10 Football Masterplan, 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,” he explained.