THROUGH the Bank of Industry (BoI), the Federal Government has taken a bold step to tackle unemployment. It launched a N10 billion Youths Entrepreneurship Support (YES) project to empower youths with revolving loans to start businesses.
Speaking at the launch the launch at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Okechukwu Enelamah said his ministry would partner all government agencies to create job opportunities.
According to the minister, more than 40 per cent of graduates are jobless and an average of eight million Nigerians join the unemployment market yearly.
Enelamah explained that the ‘YES’ project of BoI was part of the Federal Government’s youth employment scheme, saying that about 36,000 jobs would be created annually through ‘YES’.
He appealed to prospective beneficiaries to repay the loans for the success and sustenance of the project.
BoI’s Managing Director Waheed Olagunju said that a participant under the scheme could access up to N10 million loan with single digit interest rate and repayable over three to five years.
He said that an applicant must present the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) or higher education certificate as collateral to qualify for the loan with two external guarantors.
Mr. Olagunju said his bank was partnering 11 consultants across the country for the project’s pilot phase.
A special assistant to the Vice President on Youth Development, Mr. Afolabi Imokhuede, said job creation was at the heart of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, adding that the government has a plan to create 3.5 million jobs in the next three years.
Imokhuede, who identified the ‘YES’ project as one of the programmes urged participants to take the ‘YES’ seriously as online courses were now popular means of job creation worldwide.
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai said his government has concluded plans to partner with BoI on job creation.
The governor said the state had been able to take controlling shares in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) with the bank’s assistance.