The President Jonathan-led Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN) initiative is going to receive a new lease of life according to reports from the ministry of finance. We had initially reported that YouWIN had a 5-year program plan and was to be discontinued last year but the Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has
The President Jonathan-led Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN) initiative is going to receive a new lease of life according to reports from the ministry of finance. We had initially reported that YouWIN had a 5-year program plan and was to be discontinued last year but the Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has disclosed that, as part of its ‘change’ agenda, the current administration will adopt the YouWin programme and restructure it to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability of grants awarded to beneficiaries. Truth be told, while the YouWIN program has been immensely helpful in building technical and financial capacities of small business owners, many of the business capital awarded have been siphoned for personal use by the beneficiaries.
There have been funny oral accounts have some using their winnings for weddings and some for car purchase. Well, hopefully, that’s about to end. Mrs Adeosun explains that due diligence will now be carried out on beneficiaries, using tools like the Bank Verification Number (BVN) before disbursements.
Salisu Dambatta, a director at the Ministry of Finance, also mentioned in a statement that consultations, beneficiaries and other stakeholders have begun work on restructuring the SME grant and empowerment program with the objective of injecting new ideas for its sustainability. Also, a consultation session has been scheduled for July 22 in Abuja, where representatives of the beneficiaries drawn from the six-geo-political zones and other stakeholders would chart a way forward for the programme.
Read also: ‘I don’t like Jonathan. I doubted Youwin initially but it has given me huge sums of money’: Owambe CEO
The YouWIN programme which was initiated in 2011 by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan is a multi-billion Naira project aimed at empowering (through trainings) and encouraging young Nigerians to build Small and Medium scale enterprises (SMEs) of their choice with a seed capital between N 1 to N10 million.
From its inception up till now, a total of 18, 000 young entrepreneurs have been trained in various aspects of Small and Medium Enterprises management and business skills, while at least 3, 900 of them (including 1, 200 women) were each given non-repayable take-off grants for businesses of their choice ranging from one million Naira up to a maximum of 10 million Naira.
The third edition of the programme, which is still running with 1,500 beneficiaries, has received the sum of N11.2 billion in funding, and so far grants totaling N7.4 billion have been disbursed to the awardees. In June 2016 alone, the sum of N1.687 billion was paid to 638 awardees. Mrs Kemi Adeosun has promised that the government will pay the rest.