Beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) ,Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP), would soon access the fund as Heritage Bank Plc,has concluded arrangement for pre-disbursement of the loan.
The CBN-YIEDP initiative has a N3 billion fund specifically set aside by the apex bank for serving NYSC members and ex-NYSC members who have concluded their service since 2010.
Under the initiative, a beneficiary can have access to N3 million with a tenor of three years at an interest rate of nine percent.
Heritage Bank has been adopted by the CBN as the sole pilot bank for the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP).
The programme aims at harnessing the latent entrepreneurial spirit among the teeming youths by providing timely and affordable loans to implement their business ideas.
The major objective of the scheme is 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.
The scheme is open to serving youth corps members and non-NYSC members (not more than five years post NYSC) within the age bracket of 18 to 35.
According to a statement by Heritage Bank’s Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Olusola Longe-Okenimkpe, In a bid to get the scheme off ground, Heritage Bank has organised a pre-disbursement training programme for select members of its staff across the country that will implement the scheme. The workshop was held simultaneously in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja recently.
Also as part of the strategies, Heritage Bank is partnering with Background Check International to cross check the documents of the applicants, partnering with food processors to act as anchor for the beneficiaries as well as with Small and Medium Size Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN).”
She hinted that with the launching of the programme on March 15, 2016, about 4,000 applicants had applied for the scheme out of which the bank shortlisted 1,500 applicants for training.
She said, 1,200 attended the training session, and the bank eventually forwarded 50 applicants to the CBN out of which 26 applications were approved for loan disbursement.
Dummy cheques will be presented to 10 of the 26 beneficiaries across the six geographical zones next month.
The qualified business sectors of the scheme include agro-allied, food processing/preservation, arts and crafts, manufacturing/cottage industry, information and communication technology, construction support, power & energy, education and financial inclusion, film and photography and automobile among others.