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Buhari approves N75b take-off grants for youth investment programme

By Idowu Abdullahi,

In line with his administration’s commitment to channel the youth population for nation-building, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) alongside with N75 billion take-off grants for the period of three years.

He explained that the approval for the establishment of the fund by the Federal Executive Council followed the approval of a memo by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.

Announcing the President’s approval on Thursday, the Minister noted that the move underscored Buhari’s absolute confidence in the innovative skills, talents, and industry of the Nigerian youth.

Dare, through a statement conveying the approval, explained that the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) is for innovative ideas, skills, and talents of Nigerian Youth and to provide a special window for accessing funds, finances, business management skills, and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise.

He noted that he had while defending the need for the fund told the council that “Nigeria can make one quantum leap to dramatically increase its GDP and per capita realities. This can only happen if the country begins to invest in the youth through the establishment of a specialized fund that provides accommodating pathways to accessing credit, grants, and needed funds for entrepreneurship.”

The Minister added that the council upon approval directed the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to immediately commence the process of operationalization and possible legislation of the NYIF in collaboration with relevant MDAs, and also directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria to source for the required funds to kick start the NYIF.

“The first of its kind by any Nigerian government, NYIF is to serve as a sort of Youth Bank that will fund and support the innovative ideas, skills, talents, and enterprise of the Nigerian Youth; a loan and credit pathway dedicated to assessing credit and soft loans.

“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,” the statement read.

While thanking the president on behalf of the Nigerian youth, the Minister noted that President Buhari has fulfilled his assertion that “it is our collective responsibility to ensure that we provide adequate resources to meet the basic needs of our teeming youth”.

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