The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday approved N75 billion for the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, to be otherwise known as the Youth Bank.
Briefing reporters at the end of a virtual meeting of FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, said the fund would be created to support enterprises, ideas and innovations evolved by 68 million Nigerian youths, aged between 18 and 35.
According to Dare, the ‘youth bank’ would serve as a platform for the youth who fall within this age group with enterprising and innovative ideas to draw credit facilities from 125 micro-credit banks across the country to fund such innovations.
The minister said details of the initiative would be disclosed later, adding that the council also approved all necessary steps to be taken to bring the initiative to fruition, including the necessary legal framework and method of financing.
He stated that the initiative would be run like the N-Power programme that is implemented with digital applications and would be available for any youth within the specified category irrespective of his ethnic background or social status.
The minister said the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and other relevant ministries, departments and Agencies (MDAs) would work out the modalities for its funding.
He said: “For the first time in the history of Nigeria, the Federal Executive Council today approved the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to the tune of N75 billion. This fund is meant to create a special window for accessing credit facilities and financing on the part of our youths that will help to fund their ideas, innovations and also support their enterprise.
“The best way to call it is that for the first time, the country will have a youth bank. A fund that will cater specifically for our youths within the stipulated age band, which is going to be between 18 and 35 years.
“The second approval that we secured was for the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to play a lead role in working on necessary steps that need to be taken in terms of legislation, organisation and other aspects of financing.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning will take the lead when it comes to the aspect of the financing, working with the CBN, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and other relevant MDAs. A couple of other details will be released later, but I think the most important thing is that the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, to cater specifically for this target group, a population of over 68 million, got the attention and support of the Federal Executive Council today and this fund will be assessed by our youth, once they are able to present their ideas.”