When the present administration was inaugurated, there were fears and even unconfirmed reports fueled by delays in paying out grants that it had scrapped the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin). According to reports, the Federal Government of Nigeria has cleared the outstanding ₦1.6 billion earlier owed beneficiaries.
The Buhari led government has paid the sum of ₦1.6bn to 638 awardees of the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria, YouWin, programme, an initiative of the past government under the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. Na’inna Dambatta, Director of Information at the Ministry of Information, said the money was paid in June.
According to him, the programme which took off in 2011, had trained a total of 18, 000 young entrepreneurs in management and business skills for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
He also said 3, 900 of the trainees, including 1, 200 women, were each given non-repayable take-off grants ranging from ₦1 million to a maximum of ₦10 million for businesses of their choice.
“The third edition of the programme, which is still running with 1,500 beneficiaries has received the sum of ₦11.2 billion in funding. So far, grants totalling ₦7.4 billion have been disbursed to the awardees.”
Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, said the current administration was set to restructure the programme to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability in investing the capital grants given to the beneficiaries; all the commitments made by the Federal Government under the YouWin programme would be fully met. And every beneficiary would be duly verified, using tools like Bank Verification Number (BVN), before disbursements.
The minister said the Federal Government would begin consultations with the beneficiaries and other stakeholders of the programme to inject new ideas for its sustainability.
Winners of the third edition of the programme, earlier this month, stormed the headquarters of the ministry to protest the delay in the payment of their grants.
The Federal Ministry of Finance, which has been running the programme from inception, has scheduled the consultation for July 22, in Abuja, where representatives of the beneficiaries drawn from the six-geo-political zones in Nigeria and other concerned parties would gather to review progress.