By Franca Ofili
The Minister of Youth Development, Dr Jamila Ibrahim, has inaugurated a committee for review of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF).
The Head of Press, Public Relations Unit of the ministry, Mrs Maryam Yusuf, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, adding that the inauguration was done via zoom.
Yusuf quoted the minister as saying that “the review became necessary as the fund, established in 2020 to provide funds for youth-led enterprises, fell short in terms of youths reached and jobs created.”
She attributed this to the stringent conditions attached to accessing the fund.
She added that, “while the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund aims to provide capital for youth-led enterprises, its impact, though commendable, fell short in terms of the number of youths reached and jobs created.
“A strategic overhaul is necessary to alleviate the challenges faced by Nigerian youths in securing finances, along with fostering entrepreneurial skills, market access, and mentorship for sustainable growth.”
Ibrahim also said that upon assumption of office, she observed that among the ministry’s programmes, the NYIF has the potential to tackle youth unemployment and poverty, if properly managed.
The minister, therefore, charged the committee members to take the assignment seriously and give it their best.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Dunoma Umar, was also quoted as saying “the fund is dedicated to innovative ideas, skills and talents among Nigerian youths.”
He said the fund targeted youths within the age group of 18 years to 35 years, adding that the minister deemed it wise to review the NYIF for better results.
Mr Hakeem Olopade, the Chairman of the committee, thanked the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu for the focus on youth empowerment.
He said there was need to engage the youth in productive sectors of the economy, especially in view of the prevailing security challenges in the country.
He pledged the readiness of the committee members to implement the assignment assiduously.
Olapade, however, called on the ministry to avail the committee all necessary support to succeed in areas of youth documentation and information at its disposal.
The committee members are Mr Hakeem Olopade as Chairman, Mr Olufela Olatoye-sosan as Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Kumshe as member, Ms Ebiho Agun as member, with representatives of Central Bank of Nigeria and Development Bank of Nigeria. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chidi Opara/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu