By Michael Eboh
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in conjunction with Heritage Bank Plc has commenced the process for the disbursement of N774 million to 310 young entrepreneurs under the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, YEDP, so as to help address the rising unemployment situation in the country, empower the youths and reactivate the economy.
Speaking at the commencement of the loan disbursements to the beneficiaries, comprising members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, graduates and artisans, the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that the YEDP is part of the plan by the CBN and the Federal Government to create over one million direct jobs by 2020.
Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services Directorate of the CBN, Mr. Suleiman Barau, stated, “I am pleased to announce the disbursement of funds to the first batch of 310 prospective entrepreneurs under the YEDP, while other applicants are at different stages of completing their loan documentation process.”
Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director, Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, stated that the beneficiaries would get the fund as soon as certain issues raised by the beneficiaries are addressed.
According to Sekibo, who was represented by Group Executive Director, Lagos and South-West Corporate Banking of Heritage Bank, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, a proper process of disbursement would be done to the benefit and happiness of all parties.
He said, “They will get the money as soon as all those issues they raised are addressed. The money is available. They have been disbursed. CBN has disbursed to the banks. It is now about sorting out whatever the challenges are, and then the funds are now made available.”
Commenting on the process, Sekibo stated that the target was for 1,000 beneficiaries, adding that the initial applicants were 4,000, while there are presently 7,000 applicants waiting.
He said, “We are optimistic that by the time we are done with the initial 1,000, and we go back, we would be able to accommodate as many as are qualified as possible, and obviously expand the amount of money that is needed to do that.”
He, however, declared that the process is going to be reviewed, stating that “for each of the items, you see, when you get an offer letter, if there are any of the line items that are conditions that you have a challenge with, it is obviously going to be reviewed with all parties.”