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Sunday Dare: We’ve received over 1m applications for N75bn youth fund

Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports development, says over one million young Nigerians have applied for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) since the portal opened on October 12, 2020.

He was speaking at the National Youth Day celebration on Sunday which was held at the banquet hall of the presidential villa with the theme, “Invest in the Youth, Secure Our Future”.

President Muhammadu Buhari was represented by Muhammad Bello, minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The NYIF, which was approved by the federal executive council (FEC) on July 22, 2020, targets young people between ages 18-35 years and is expected to last for a period of three years (2020-2023).

The event flagged off a bouquet of youth-oriented initiatives being implemented by the ministry of youth and sports development.

Dare said theme of the event “resonates across all strata of society. It rallies us all, government, private sector and even the youth groups to a new and urgent cause. That cause is to invest more and deliberately in the innovative minds, skills, talents and enterprise of our youth.

“To equip them with needed and relevant technical and digital skills. To make them wealth creators, self starters, employers of labour and leaders in their own right. Globally, there is a paradigm shift from merely empowering the youth to directly investing in them.

“President Muhammadu Buhari since the inception of his administration has never taken his eyes off the ball when it comes to youth developmental issues. This government has initiated a slew of multifaceted youth focused programs that are cross cutting. At the last count about 25 of them undertaking by different ministries, departments and agencies.

“Wherever the youth group is found, these programmes target them. Indeed, when in July 22nd, 2020 the President in Council approved the establishment of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, NYIF, it was a culmination of all efforts geared at giving our youth the access to funds needed for enterprise.”

In his address, Buhari said: “Today we will unveil the official logo of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund for the period of 2020-2023.

“This novel fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian youth and to provide our youth with a special window to access much needed financing, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise.

Over a million applications have already been received since the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) portal went live on October 12, 2020.”

Describing Nigerian youth as agents for social change, economic growth, and sustainable development; Buhari said his administration has established over 25 initiatives aimed at empowering youth across the country.

According to him some of the youth-based initiatives include: the Nigerian Youth Policy in 2019; Nigeria Youth Investment Fund in July 2020; Young Farmers Initiative; Digital Skills, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership/Mentoring (DEEL) programme, which recently received an approval of N4 billion for implementation; and the Not Too Young to Run Act.

Other initiatives, he said, include: the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES); N-Power; SI and Disaster Management; the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme; Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS); and the Youth Enterprise with Innovation In Nigeria (YouWIN).

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