The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most
innovative banking services provider and The National Youth Service
Corps (NYSC) have disbursed a whooping sum of N774million to 310
beneficiaries under the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship
Development Programme (YIEDP).
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony for the disbursement of funds to young
entrepreneurs under the YIEDP, on Thursday, the CBN Governor, Mr.
Godwin Emefiele, commended Heritage Bank for its painstaking effort to
buy into the vision of job creation and piloting
the programme to a successful stage.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Corporate
Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, said the CBN in partnership with
Heritage Bank and NYSC instituted the programme to reduce the alarming
rate of unemployment affecting over 16 million unemployed
youths in Nigeria, adding that the access to credit via this platform
would be a powerful instrument to grow businesses and the economy.
He noted that the YIEDP was part of the plan by the CBN and the Federal
Government to create over one million direct jobs by 2020.
Emefiele, who affirmed that the programme would have a multiplier effect
on job creation and economy, urged all the beneficiaries to make
judicious use of the fund.
He added that the YIEDP has the potential of becoming the stimulus for
job and wealth creation, growth and economic development through
improved access to finance for young entrepreneurs.
He also assured the business community that the CBN would continue to
provide enabling environment, devise ways and means to grow the real
sector towards a self-reliant economy.
Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director, Heritage Bank Plc, Mr.
Ifie Sekibo, stated that the beneficiaries would get the fund as soon as
certain concerns raised by the beneficiaries regarding the conditions
for the loans are addressed.
According to Sekibo, who was represented by Group Executive Director,
Lagos /South-West Corporate and Banking of Heritage Bank, Mrs. Mary
Akpobome, a proper process of disbursement would be done to the benefit
and happiness of all parties.
He said, “They will get the money as soon as all those issues they
raised are addressed. The money is available. They have been disbursed.
CBN has disbursed to the bans. It is now about sorting out whatever the
challenges are, and then the funds are now made
Commenting on the process, Sekibo stated that the target was for 1,000
beneficiaries, adding that the initial applicants were 4,000, while
there are presently 7,000 applicants waiting.
He said, “We are optimistic that by the time we are done with the
initial 1,000, and we go back, we would be able to accommodate as many
as are qualified as possible, and obviously expand the amount of money
that is needed to do that.”
The MD disclosed that Heritage Bank leveraged on its robust electronic
platform in order to ensure a seamless and successful disbursement of
the YIEDP funds.
Also speaking, Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier-General Sule
Kazaure, said the YEDP was introduced in March 2016, with the aim of
funding the business plans of corps members so as to encourage and
motivate others to imbibe the culture of entrepreneurship.
He further stated that the programme was also designed to facilitate
access to other funding agencies and sources of support to corps
members, while also making it possible for corps members to access
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMES, funds from the
CBN through Heritage Bank and other banks wishing to join in the
He urged the beneficiaries of the programme to remain focused, while
also ensuring that the loans are paid back to make for extension of the
same facilities to other corps members