The first batch of three hundred and ten youth entrepreneurs have
benefited from loans under the CBN-NYSC-Heritage Bank Youth
Entrepreneurship Development Programme, YEDP.
The funds were disbursed to the beneficiaries, comprising serving and
ex-corps members, at a ceremony, which took place today at the Central
Bank Headquarters, Abuja.
They were given loans of up to three million naira each at single
digit interest rate.
In his address, the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said
other applicants are at different stages of completing their loan
Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Governor; Corporate
Services, Suleiman Barau, recalled that the YEDP was introduced by the
Bank in March 2016 as part of efforts to reduce the rate of
unemployment in the country.
He noted that the programme was also to ensure that the creative
energies of the over 64 million Nigerian youths are harnessed to
stimulate growth, address restiveness and promote economic
He added: “To realize this objective, the Bank, in partnership with
the NYSC and Heritage Bank, began the pilot seven months ago to
inspire and harvest the entrepreneurial abilities of Nigerian youths
towards creating over one million direct jobs by 2020”.
The Governor announced the commencement of the YEDP with other Deposit
Money Banks such as Sterling Bank and Fidelity Bank in a bid to fast
track the process of identifying budding young entrepreneurs and
broaden the scope of the entire programme.
Speaking on the occasion, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General
Sulaiman Kazaure, thanked the CBN for supporting efforts to empower
Kazaure recalled that the NYSC and CBN started collaborating on
entrepreneurship in 2006 in what was tagged NYSC/CBN Ventures Prize
Competition through which the first three winners at the state and
national level were rewarded with sums ranging from two hundred and
fifty thousand to one million naira.
He noted that the launch of the YEDP would, among other things, create
room for increasing the number of beneficiaries of the
entrepreneurship training and venture prize competition to make
The DG urged the beneficiaries of the programme to remain focused and
ensure that the loans are paid back to enable other Corps members
benefit from the facility.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie
Sekibo, said since the commencement of the programme, the Bank had
worked assiduously with the CBN and the NYSC to develop guidelines and
holistic risk management framework to protect its integrity and
Sekibo, who spoke through Mrs. Mary Akpoborne, said from the 4,000
applications received, 1,200 were shortlisted and taken through at a
3-day Enterprise Development Training at selected NYSC Orientation
camps across the six geo-political zones of the country.