President Muhammadu Buhari says over one million online applications have been received for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF). The portal went live on October 20.
This is coming as the Northern State Governors Forum (NSGF) is planning to commission and bankroll a study of the EndSARS protests and unrest by the Centre for Historical Documentation and Research, Arewa House, Kaduna, with a view to forestalling future occurrences and mitigating the outcomes, particularly in the Northern region.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State disclosed this in Kaduna at the Golden Jubilee celebration of the establishment of the Arewa House, which is affiliated to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Muhammadu Bello, in a statement said his principal who was represented by the Chairman of NSGF, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State assured the Arewa House that its recommendations in the #EndSARS study would be implemented by the NSGF.
He also said the forum is also interested in commissioning another study on youths’ engagement and development with a focus on job creation and entrepreneurship in Northern Nigeria.
Bello further explained why it became necessary to undertake the study during a stakeholders’ meeting with a cross-section of Kaduna people held at the Kaduna State University (KASU), noting that the lessons to be learnt from the fallout of the #EndSARS are many.
Economically, “it runs into trillions of naira,” he stated, emphasising that had that kind of mayhem happened in the North, the region may not have been able to cope with it as it “doesn’t have money for the reconstruction” that would have been required.
Pointing out that it is in the collective interest of the North to reject unrest and violence, Tambuwal, who was in the company of his Ekiti, Jigawa and Kaduna States counterparts, urged all leaders in the region to be “accommodating as well as draw other people closer.”
However, the NYIF scheme is a N75 billion fund to boost youth enterprise in various fields.
Buhari spoke at the maiden National Youth Day celebration, which coincides with the African Youth Day, describing Nigerian youths as agents for social change, economic growth and sustainable development, Buhari said his administration has established no fewer than 25 initiatives aimed at empowering youths across the country.
He noted that these noble initiatives, ongoing in the last five years, were aimed at placing Nigerian youths on the path of career development, entrepreneurship, skills development and direct employment.
”This novel fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian Youths and to provide our youths with a special window to access much-needed financing, business management skills and other inputs critical for the sustainable enterprise”, he says.
He listed other youth-based initiatives, consistent with his administration’s policy of positioning youths for strategic leadership in different fields of endeavour, as follows:
”The birth of the Nigerian Youth Policy in 2019, the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund in July 2020, Young Farmers Initiative, Digital Skills, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership/Mentoring (DEEL) programme, which recently received the approval of N4 billion naira for implementation, and the Not Too Young to Run Act.”
Other initiatives, according to the President, include the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), the N-Power, SI and Disaster Management, the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme, Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) and the Youth Enterprise with Innovation In Nigeria (YouWIN).
The President also added the $20 million Technology Fund for Young Innovators as some of the major initiatives empowering youths across the country.