Unity Bank Plc has offered 48 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) N16.5 million to start up businesses.
The corps members got the loans after the bank accepted the business proposals submitted by the successful corps members, having scaled through various stages of professional vetting.
The corps members were selected from NYSC orientation camps in Edo, Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The business areas for the loan cover agriculture; craft and fashion design; education, shoe-making, among others.
In a statement by the NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi, the NYSC Director-General (DG), Brig.-Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim commended the bank for providing financial grants to corps members.
He said the pilot project of the “Corpreneurship challenge” would create opportunities for self-employment and wealth creation and also reduce the number of unemployed graduate youths.
The DG said the NYSC is determined to drive entrepreneurial capacity among young graduates and create opportunities for self- employment and wealth creation.
Brig-Gen. Ibrahim, who added that salaried jobs, were scarcely available, appealed to the corps members to be determined, focused and avoid cutting corners.
“My appeal to you is to be determined, remain focused and fan into flame the training that you have acquired for your empowerment, as it would later translate to societal development.”
“Be prudent in your spending, avoid indolence and be committed to what the Unity Bank has done for you,” he said.
The DG admonished the beneficiaries to do a peer review of their successes and re-strategise for greater output.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank, Tomi Shomefun promised a robust partnership with the NYSC, which would empower more youths for self-development.
She commended the director-general for his strong passion for skills acquisition, adding that the bank is expanding the “Corpreneurship Challenge Initiative” to six more locations. They are Akwa Ibom, Kano, Sokoto, Bayelsa, Enugu and Osun states.
Shomefun, who said the bank has been making tremendous impact in youth development, congratulated the female awardees and advised them not to disappoint the NYSC and Unity bank but imbibe the spirit of hardwork and sincerity of purpose.
“Never despise the days of little beginnings but hope for greater heights. Take the seed grant that has been given to you to develop yourselves and the society,” she said.
The Director, Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Hilary Nasamu advised the beneficiaries to adhere strictly to the template of their business proposals.
He said the NYSC would continue to monitor their progress on quarterly basis.