The Nasarawa The state government and the Bank of Industry on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding for a N500 million youth revolving fund scheme aimed at boosting micro, small and medium enterprises in the state.
The program is designed to provide soft loans to young people for the start-up and expansion of youth businesses.
“This initiative will undoubtedly give new impetus to our desire to create wealth through investment and job creation with the sole aim of reducing poverty and achieving self-sufficiency.
“It will also go a long way in reducing youth unrest in society,” he said.
Sule maintained that the program was in tandem with the philosophy and vision of his administration, particularly in the development of young people through the creation of equal opportunities to realize their potential for socio-economic development.
“That’s why since we took office, this administration has remained committed to evolving deliberate efforts to boost our economy by building the desired human capabilities,” Sule added.
The governor said he had approved the N250 million matching fund arrangement as a counterpart contribution to the program.
He therefore urged future recipients to make wise use of the funds for the intended purposes.
Also taking the floor, the Director General of THISM Olukayode Pitansaid the program was developed to provide assistance to indigenous entrepreneurs engaged in micro, small and medium enterprises in Nasarawa State.
Pitan, who was represented by Dr. Rislanudeen MuhammadThe bank’s Managing Director, Small and Medium Enterprises (North), explained that the N500m scheme was a matching fund arrangement with the state government and BOI each contributing N250m naira.
He said the program would be used for providing term loans for the purchase of industrial and commercial equipment as well as working capital loans for raw materials and other commercial consumables.
The managing director said the fund would be administered at a single-digit interest rate with a tenor of betbetween three and five years.
He said the fund targets beneficiaries in critical growth sectors such as manufacturing and processing, TICdigital marketing and e-commerce, transportation, creative industry and entertainment, and agribusiness.
Other areas, he said, include healthcare and fitness, education, renewable energy, restaurants and cafeterias, arts and crafts, and solid mineral processing.
Mrs Habiba Balarabe-SuleimanSenior Special Assistant to the Governor and Human Capital Development Focal Point, said the program would enable Nasarawa residents, especially young people, to access funds to finance their business ideas and expand existing businesses.
She said it would stimulate economic activities, create jobs and stimulate economic growth while offering solutions to the vices of society, thus curbing youth unrest.
Balarabe-Suleiman praised Sule for endorsing the program and the BOI for making the program a reality.
She said the fund would be managed by the Bank of Industry for Professional Added Value.