BoI Targets 150,000 New Jobs under YES Initiative

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Waheed Olagunju

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The Bank of Industry though its Youth Entrepreneurship Support programme hopes to create 150,000 employment in the country

THE Youth Entrepreneurship Support, YES, a programme of the Bank of Industry, BOI, is expected to create more than 150,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the country. According to Waheed Olagunju, acting managing director, BoI, youths through YES can  apply for a minimum loans of N100,000‎ and a maximum of N5 million at single digit interest rate of nine per cent to implement a viable project. The tenor of the loan is between three to five years.

Olagunju while kicking off a five-day in-class capacity ‎building session of the YES programme in Lagos, said that Nigerian youths are enthusiastic about it because it has recorded unprecedented participation thus giving a boost to the nation’s collective efforts in developing a generation of young aspiring entrepreneurs. He said the programme will address the worrisome phenomenon of youth unemployment in the nation.

Olagunju said, “We are expecting that in the first year, we would have about 10,000 beneficiaries ‎who would have created jobs for themselves and also create jobs for other people. We are projecting that about 150,000 jobs direct and indirect will be created by these beneficiaries through their input suppliers and also through their distributive and retail networks.

“In the second year, we are expecting that the numbers of beneficiaries would go up to about 20,000 creating about 300,000 jobs. We are expecting that if the scheme succeeds, the number of job opportunities both direct and indirect would continue ‎to increase. We have no limit as to the number of beneficiaries to benefit from this initiative. All that is required is for them to come up with bankable proposals that are viable and sustainable because there is no point financing a project that will collapse, because if it collapses, the aspiration of the entrepreneurs will not be achieved and the envisaged developmental impacts by way of jobs will also not be achieved.”

Olagunju said due to the need for a wider coverage of the ‎entrepreneurship programme among the large youth populace, the bank with the support of the federal government, introduced the YES programme which is aimed at equipping young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years that hold a minimum educational qualification of an Ordinary National Diploma, OND, or its equivalent, with the requisite skills and knowledge to be self-employed.

“This is the third stage in a four-phase programme which started in March with an online business ideas competition where we had almost 40,000 application filed into the YES portal which was pruned down to about 7,000. Those applicants went through class online training session and were later pruned down further to 2500. So, about 2500 candidates are going through the 5-day in-class training session in 20 locations across the six geopolitical zones in the country. What we are having today is the opening of the in-class component of the YES programme starting with Lagos,” he said.

According to him, the BOI is making concrete efforts to de-risk the aspiring young entrepreneurs by linking them with 12 of the best business development service providers, BDSPs, to guide them through the formative stages of their businesses so that they can pay back the loans borrowed and also have the opportunity for repeated transactions.

Abiodun Oni, managing director, Fastcool Air Conditioning Services, who is also a beneficiary of the scheme, said the programme would have massive impact because it would create the next set of billionaires in Nigeria as well as create a lot of employment and wealth.

—  Oct 3, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT

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