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FEC approves release of N60 billion from CBN for SMEs schemes targeted at Nigerian youths




The Federal Executive Council has granted its consent for the disbursement of N60 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria via the Agric Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme to boost small business growth, particularly among young entrepreneurs nationwide.

This is contained in a statement by the Minister of Youth, Jamila Ibrahim, on Monday following the conclusion of the fourth FEC meeting in Abuja on Monday.

The Minister said that the funding from the apex bank would offer vital support to burgeoning enterprises run by young entrepreneurs, providing significant relief and enabling them to fortify and expand their businesses.

In addition, Ibrahim said that the Council approved the restructuring of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, aiming to institutionalize it through a legal framework, paving the way for the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Fund.

She explained that the fund, established in 2020, initially amounted to N75 billion, with annual releases of N25 billion designated for youth-led and youth-owned enterprises operating in priority sectors.

According to her, the FEC has endorsed the immediate disbursement of N25 billion from the 2023 Appropriation Act and an additional N25 billion from the 2024 Appropriation Act, designated under the Youth Development Fund.

Furthermore, the Minister highlighted the significance of a distinct approach in executing the revamped Youth Investment Fund, which includes the formation of clusters.

According to her, these clusters aim to foster mutual assistance among young entrepreneurs, enabling them to provide cross-guarantees for each other.

Ibrahim further stated that the FEC had given its approval for a 30% youth quota in all government appointments, with a specific provision for ensuring fair representation of young women within this quota.

She emphasized that this step would greatly alleviate the marginalization and exclusion of young individuals from decision-making roles. Additionally, it would play a pivotal role in motivating youth to actively engage in decision-making processes and civic activities.