FG Pays N1.68 billion To 638 YouWin Enterpreneurs
Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s minister of finance has revealed on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 that the Buhari government would continue former President Goodluck Jonathan’s job creation programme, YouWIN.
Adeosun said that as part of the change agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, the YouWIN programme has to be restructured to ensure efficiency, transparency, and accountability in investing the capital grants given to the beneficiaries by the federal government.
The Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria, YouWIN, programme initiated by the Goodluck Jonathan administration has been named one of the best by economists and analysts around the world.
At the launch of the third edition of the programme in November 2013 fomer President Jonathan said that the first two editions had created over 27,000 jobs in the Nigerian economy.
Former finance minister and globally respected economist, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who championed the creation of the YouWin programme had urged President Buhari to retain the programme.
This announcement means that will not be discarded like many other policies and initiatives of the last administration. The ministry of finance said that it will consult next month with beneficiaries and other stakeholders to restructure the program and inject new ideas for its sustainability.
Under the programme which took off in 2011, a total of 18, 000 young entrepreneurs have been trained in various aspects of Small and Medium Enterprises management and business skills; and 3,900 of them, including 1,200 women, were each given non-repayable take-off grants for businesses of their choice ranging from N1 million up to a maximum of N10 million.
“The third edition of the programme, which is still running with 1,500 beneficiaries, has received the sum of N11.2 billion in funding, and so far grants totaling N7.4 billion have been disbursed to the awardees. In June 2016 alone, the sum of N1.687 billion was paid to 638 awardees,” said Salisu Dambatta, the director of information in the federal ministry of finance, which runs the program.
Adeosun confirmed that all FG commitments under the YouWIN programme will be fully met, but due diligence would be carried out on every beneficiary, using tools like the Bank Verification Number (BVN), and before disbursements.
The consultation event has been fixed for July 22, 2016 in Abuja, and will feature representatives of the beneficiaries drawn from the six-geo-political zones and other stakeholders.