Nigerian Government launches Youth Empowerment Scheme
The Nigerian government has budgeted five billion Naira to focus on youth employment, as part of efforts to create about 50,000 new jobs and 6,000 young entrepreneurs within the next three years.
The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, stated this while launching, Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria, YOU WIN, to assist unemployed youths.
President Jonathan reiterated government’s commitment to engaging youths in the country.
He said by working directly with talented Nigerians, the much needed wealth and job creation would be realised.
The YOU WIN project is a youth empowerment and entrepreneurship programme conceived by the Nigerian Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the Nigerian Ministry of Communication and Technology, Nigerian Ministry of Youth Development, the private sector and the World Bank.
Commenting on YOU WIN, Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the project was in line with the president’s vision of economic development.
She added that the main objective of the project was to generate jobs by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas that will lead to job creation.
She was quoted as saying: “The programme will provide aspiring youth with a platform to showcase their business acumen, skills and aspirations to business leaders, investors and mentors in Nigeria.”
Okonjo-Iweala explained that the You WIN project will be an annual Business Plan Competition, BPC, for aspiring young entrepreneurs, in line with the Government’s drive to create more jobs for Nigerians.
According to her, the government has selected the Lagos Business School to conduct the first round of screenings for the business plan submissions as well as coordinate trainings and mentorships.
She also stated that a six-member panel of judges, comprising reputable business leaders and experts drawn from the private sector, has been appointed in each geographical zone to validate and audit the screening process by the business school at each stage of the competition.
The winning entries will be a mix of start-ups and existing enterprises that are looking to expand, while the final awards will be graded from 1 million naira to 10 million naira, with the awards categories being Best innovator / New Idea, Best product, Best Business Plan, Best Corporate Social Responsibility and Best Overall Entrant.