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HomeHeadlineNasarawa Signs MOU With BOI, Launches N500m Youth Revolving Fund Scheme

Nasarawa Signs MOU With BOI, Launches N500m Youth Revolving Fund Scheme

Nasarawa State Government has launched a N500m Youth Revolving Fund Scheme, to be managed by the Bank of Industry (BOI).

This followed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Nasarawa State Government and the Bank of Industry, which took place at an elaborate ceremony at the Government House, on Thursday.

In a speech shortly after the MoU signing, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, commended the BOI for conceiving the idea of the youth revolving scheme, designed to provide soft loans to youths in the state, in order to take-off and expand their businesses.

According to the Engineer Sule, the initiative will not only add impetus to his administration’s drive towards wealth creation through investment and generation of employment, aimed at reducing poverty, but will also go a long way in curbing youth restiveness in the society.

The Governor described the event as significant, considering that it tallies with his administration’s philosophy and vision, particularly in the development of the youths through the creation of equal opportunities to realize their potentials for socio-economic development.

He used the opportunity of the event to highlight on some of the giant strides of his administration to include establishing the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), setting up the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), which saw to the attraction of private investors into the state such as, the Dangote Group, Azman Rice Ltd., Flour Mills of Nig. Plc., among others who are investing in different facets of the economy of the state, with youths being gainfully employed.

Also, the administration made cogent efforts towards boosting economic development, resulting in the increase in the state’s Internally Generated Revenue by 49% in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is just as an independent evaluation platform (Kingmaker), showed that Nasarawa State has moved from the 24th position in 2016 to 12th position in 2020 in terms of standard of living of the citizens.

“This is based on the fact that our ease of doing business and investment promotion have also attracted over USD $500 Million investment into the key sectors in the State translating to better life for the citizenry,” Engineer Sule added.

He explained further that, as part of the administration’s deliberate efforts towards empowering the teeming youths and women, the Wing Commander Abdullahi Ibrahim Vocational and Skill Acquisition Centre was established and handed over to the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) optimum utilization.

“This centre will engage our youths in meaningful ventures with a view to open vistas of opportunities towards wealth creation, employment generation and poverty alleviation in the State,” he said.

This is in addition to the state government partnering with the T-max consultant to train 2000 youth on relevant skills and at the end of the training, starter packs will be given for self-reliance and employer of labour.

Engineer Sule added that, the MoU with the BOI became effective only after the state government approved the matching fund agreement in the sum of N250 Million Naira as counterpart contribution.

While appealing to the beneficiaries to endeavor to pay back the loan in time for others to also benefit, the Governor promised that his administration will subsequently jerk up its counterpart fund to one million naira, thus raising the revolving loan fund to a whopping one billion naira.

In a welcome address, Managing Director/CEO, Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan, said the strategic partnership between his bank and the Nasarawa State Government is a testimony of e appreciation of both parties that youth entrepreneurship is a very critical driver of growth and development in the state and indeed, the nation at large.

Represented at the event by a top official of bank, the MD BOI emphasized that with the current unemployment rate pegged at 33.3 percent and youth unemployment at 42.5 percent, the need for financial intervention among youths has become imperative.

He explained that the YRFS can be utilised for the provision of long term loans for the procurement of industrial and business equipment as well as working capital loans for raw materials and other consumables.

The MD added that the fund will be administered at a single digit interest rate with a tenure of between three to five years, with the target beneficiaries expected to come from the following sectors that have been identified as critical growth sectors, manufacturing and processing, ICT, digital marketing and e-commerce, transportation, creative industry and entertainment.

Others are agric business, healthcare and fitness education, renewable energy, eateries and cafeterias, art and craft and solid minerals processing.

Also, in a welcome address, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) and Focal Person, Human Capital Development, Habiba Balarabe Suleiman, said the scheme is a collaboration between the Nasarawa State Government and Bank of Industry, where each of the parties provided N250m each, with the funds to be managed by the BOI for professional value addition.

During the event, goodwill messages were received from prominent individuals, as well as targeted beneficiaries of the scheme, including the Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad (rtd) and the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Youths, Hon Shuaibu Sani, amongst others.

In a vote of thanks, Chairman, Human Capital Development Council and state Deputy Governor, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, appreciated Engineer Sule for being among the few governors in the country to have set up a functional human capital development office.

The Reporter News
The Reporter Newshttp://www.thereportersnews.Ng
My name is Fatima muhammed Halidu
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