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BoI: Corps members get N439.8m loan boost

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

No fewer than 967 youths participating in the one-year compulsory National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme would benefit from the approved N439.8 million soft loans provided by the Bank of Industry (BoI).

The acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, who made the disclosure at the opening of the four-day in-class capacity building session of the graduate entrepreneurship fund, second edition, said N194.4 million has already been disbursed to corps members.

“The second edition of the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF-2) programme, targeted at empowering the Nigerian youth, was launched in October 2015 in partnership with the NYSC, as one of BoI’s initiatives aimed at tackling the high incident of youth unemployment in Nigeria.

“The objective is to encourage graduates of our tertiary institution to become employers of labour rather than job seekers. To address the entrepreneurship capacity gap of young corps members and to deepen financial inclusion by de-risking the corps members and making them eligible to small business loans,” he said.

Olagunju noted that the first phase of the scheme recorded 896 participants at the three-day capacity building programme in November 2015 at seven designated training centres across the country.

“At the end of the training and by the deadline of February 2016 for the submission of loan applications, a total of 361 candidates had submitted requests for an aggregate sum of N695.16 million spanning across 27 out of the 40 micro, small and medium enterprise product clusters identified by Bo,” he said.

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