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FG Approves N110 Billion National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) for Youth Empowerment

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Great news for young Nigerians! The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced a significant investment in your future – a whopping N110 billion allocated to the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) for the year 2024.

This initiative marks a major turning point for youth empowerment and innovation across the country.

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Revitalizing the NYIF

The NYIF was originally established in 2020. However, the current administration has decided to completely revamp the program. Dr. Jamila Bio-Ibrahim, the Minister of Youth Development, announced this exciting news during a recent ministry retreat.

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She emphasized that the N110 billion isn’t just a handout – it’s a catalyst designed to bridge the gap between a young person’s dreams and the chance to make them a reality. By directly investing in Nigeria’s young population, the NYIF aims to completely transform the country’s economic landscape.

Skills and Support

The good news doesn’t stop at funding. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a comprehensive package of measures alongside the financial boost. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:

  • Skills and Entrepreneurship Training: The NYIF program will now include essential skills and entrepreneurship development training. This will equip young Nigerians with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the business world.
  • Interim Coordinating Unit: Until a permanent National Youth Fund is established through legislation, an interim coordinating unit will be set up to manage projects funded by the NYIF. This ensures a smooth operation while the permanent framework is being built.
  • National Youth Development Bank (NEXTGEN Bank): N5 billion of the N110 billion has been earmarked for the launch of a groundbreaking initiative – the NEXTGEN Bank. This is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Youth Development, the Bank of Industry, and private sector partners. Designed specifically to support young Nigerians, the NEXTGEN Bank will provide much more than just loans and equity. Here’s what young entrepreneurs and youth-led businesses can look forward to:
    • Development Programs: The NEXTGEN Bank will offer programs to help young businesses grow and thrive.
    • Guidance and Mentorship: Young entrepreneurs will have access to guidance and mentorship from experienced professionals. This invaluable support can help them navigate challenges and make informed decisions.
    • Network of Resources: The bank will connect young businesses to a network of resources, opening doors to new opportunities and partnerships.

The Bank of Industry will contribute N2.5 billion to the NEXTGEN Bank, with private sector partners providing the remaining N2.5 billion. Importantly, the bank will be managed by the private sector, ensuring efficient and effective operations.

Revamped Youth Development Centers

The government has also pledged to revitalize youth development centers across the country. These centers are envisioned to become hubs for a wide range of activities, including:

  • Technical Skills Training: Programs to equip young people with in-demand technical skills for various industries.
  • Digital Skills Training: Training programs to bridge the digital divide and prepare young Nigerians for the digital age.
  • Creative Skills Training: Programs to nurture and develop the creative talents of young Nigerians.
  • Social and Political Engagement: Opportunities for young people to get involved in their communities and have a say in shaping the future of Nigeria.
  • Cultural Engagement: Platforms to celebrate and promote Nigerian culture and heritage.
  • Mental Health Support: Recognizing the importance of mental well-being, these centers will offer mental health support services to young Nigerians.
  • Combating Substance Abuse and Social Decay: The centers will address challenges like substance abuse and social issues, promoting a healthy and positive environment for young people.

These revamped youth development centers will provide safe spaces where young Nigerians can holistically develop, nurturing their talents and preparing them to become future leaders.

Working Together for a Brighter Future

Dr. Bio-Ibrahim emphasized that these initiatives are just the beginning. The government acknowledges the challenges faced by young Nigerians and is committed to working towards a brighter future. However, she stressed that success requires collaboration from all stakeholders. The Ministry of Youth Development is calling on all partners, including businesses, civil society organizations, and young people themselves, to actively participate and work together to achieve the best possible outcomes.

This N110 billion investment in the National Youth Investment Fund and its supporting initiatives represents a significant step towards empowering young Nigerians. By equipping them with the resources, skills, and support they need, this program has the potential to unlock Nigeria’s immense potential and propel the nation towards a more prosperous and vibrant future.

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