Heritage Bank Plc has made a “measured” entry into financing and empowering youths with the N3billion Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria, with the active participation of the National Youth Service Corps and the bank as the sole financial institution and operating vehicle for the disbursement of funds to approved beneficiaries.
The bank in a statement made available by the Group Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo, hinted that the major objectives of the scheme was to provide a sustainable mechanism to stimulate employment, contribute to the non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as address the challenge of youth restiveness in the country.
According to him, it is pertinent to state that this programme is one that will run in phases and not a one-off arrangement. Again, because revolving credit is involved, it requires a painstaking process to ensure that the three institutions and beneficiaries achieve their respective objectives, which converge essentially to making soft credit available to young people and helping them translate their credible business ideas into sustainable wealth creation endeavours that are capable of generating further employment to others.
Meanwhile, he explained that the first batch of the 310 successful businesses have been approved by the CBN, as they are expected to benefit from N774million as part of the N3billion earmarked under the YIEDP.
A breakdown of the fund disbursed so far showed that only 94 successful beneficiaries who met the stipulated requirements received N251million. 191 of 310 beneficiaries yet to pick up their letters as a pre-condition were yet to assess the funds totalling N473million and 25 chose to drop out of the scheme, which amount to N54million.
On the conditions for the loans, he noted that the beneficiaries to drawn from the funds which have been deposited into their accounts they must meet the stipulated requirements amongst others; “serving youth corps member, non-NYSC (not more than 5 years post NYSC), submission of completed HB PLC -CBN CRMS Detail form (Individual), Business Registration Certification or Certificate of Incorporation, application letter.”
Ibidapo, 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 bank would continue to provide enabling environment, devise ways and means to support the youths towards a self-reliant economy.