The Bank of Industry (BOI) has allocated N10 billion for the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) across the country during the present fiscal year.
This disclosure was made on in Maiduguri during the flag off of the capacity workshop sponsored by the Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) in conjunction with the BOI, where 105 youths are trained as part of the 2,500 youths currently trained nationwide.
The BOI North East Regional Head, Mallam Aliyu Umaru, representing the acting Managing Director (MD) of the bank, Alhaji Waheed Olagunju said about 25,000 youths were shortlisted out of the 71,788 that registered online for the programme nationwide.
He said: “We had about 71,788 applications based on the two online registration batches that we did.
Based on this we are envisaging that we will be getting 25,000 participants every quarter and that makes it about 10,000 participants in a year.”
He added: “The figure might even go up to 20,000 in few years to come,” while revealing that the participants were selected based on their business proposals and the workability of their plans.
He equally revealed that the participants will be granted loans up to N5million to enable them set up their businesses at the end of the training.
“At the end of the training we will determine the exact requirements for each of the participant to set up his business based on the feasibility study submitted by applicants.”
He explained the mechanism put in place to prevent default in the loan by the beneficiaries to include strict monitoring, insisting that: “If you are groundnut oil production. We will visit your site to inspect the place and get your equipment requirements, rather than give you cash we will order the equipment direct from the sellers and pay them the actual price on your behalf. We will also make sure that the equipment are installed and production commences to avoid diversion.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Borno Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Tijani Balama, while speaking at the flag off, expressed delight with the federal government policy, which is targeted at reviving and creating more small scale industries.
He said that in spite of the insurgency, market women and other traders have been given similar sums through microfinance to enable them benefit from the state government’s scheme by becoming empowered.
He revealed that the state government had started the reactivation of some industries to return life into the state.
Participants were also advised to refrain from marrying more wives if they already have and wait for the business to grow beyond a particular level before venturing into related spending.