The Bank of Industry in Nigeria on Thursday formally launched a N10bn Youths Entrepreneurship Support (YES) project to empower youths with loans to start businesses. Mr. Waheed Olagunju, the acting Managing Director and Executive Manager of BOI said that a participant under the scheme could access up to 10 million naira loan with single digit interest rate and that the loan was repayable over three to five years.He said that an applicant must present NYSC or higher education certificate as collateral to qualify for the loan with two external guarantors.
Olagunju mentioned that the BOI was partnering with 11 consultants across the country for the first phase of the project, which would include giving the participants the required knowledge to plunge into their various businesses.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Abuja, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said that his ministry would partner all agencies of government to create new jobs. He said that more than 40 per cent of Nigerian graduates had no jobs and that an average of eight million Nigerians entered the job market annually.
The minister said that the YES Project of the BOI was part of the Federal Government’s youth employment scheme, stressing that about 36,000 jobs would be created annually through the YES project. He appealed to prospective beneficiaries to repay the loans for the success and sustenance of the project.
Mr. Afolabi Imokhuede, a Special Assistant to the Vice President, said that job creation was at the heart of the current administration. He said that the government intended to create 3.5million jobs i the next three years, adding that the YES project was one of the programmes.
Imokhuede advised participants to take the YES project seriously as online courses were now popular means of job creation worldwide.
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna state, said that the state was partnering with the BOI on job creation. He added that the state had been able to take controlling shares in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria with the assistance of BoI.