By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Bank of Industry (BOI) will train 976 National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) members under the second phase of its Graduate Entrepreneurship fund (GEF).
GEF is aimed at addressing the high rate of youth unemployment in the country
The NYSC members across the country will undergo a four day intensive training under the GEF scheme which was launched in October.
Speaking at the inauguration of the programme in Lagos on Thursday, Its acting Managing director,Mr. Waheed Olagunju, said it has become imperative for graduates to become employers of labour, rather job seekers.
According to him, the scheme will deepen financial inclusion by making graduates /NYSC members more eligible for small business loans and ensure the sustainability of the businesses of the young graduates through effective monitoring.
He said that the candidates were selected after a careful screening through an online business ideas competition administered by BOI and viable business ideas will acess soft loans.
He explained that the first edition of the scheme recorded a total of 896 participants at the three-day capacity building. At the end of the training and by the deadline of February with a total loan of N439.8 million approved for 260 candidates and implementation of 140 projects have so far been fully implemented with a sum of N194.4 million.
He said, “These young Nigerians have not only taken themselves out of the job markets, but have become employers of labour such that their businesses have created 560 direct jobs and over 2,000 indirect jobs. This is a demonstration of how the energy and the resourcefulness of young Nigerians can be harnessed and deployed into productive ventures and for the benefit of the Nigeria economy at large.
“In this edition, 976 candidates have been shortlisted for the capacity building aspect of the programme, which is taking place simultaneously in seven (7) centres across the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country and Lagos. “
He however noted that challenges associated with the training gaps associated have been addressed which made the duration four days in order to ensure deepen the technical know-how of participants.
Also speaking,Chairman ,First Bank PLC,Mrs Ibukun Awosika employed the NYSC members to think differently saying education is not just about acquiring certificates but the the ability to create value from the factors in the society.