The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued guidelines for NIRSAL Microfinance Bank to begin the disbursement of the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund.
The apex bank made the declaration in a statement titled ‘‘Framework for the Operation of the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank Window of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund’ made public on Wednesday.
It noted that the initiative was developed by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as a strategic response to youth empowerment challenge in the country.
The initiative intends to resolve the fragmentation youth programmes that impede the evaluation of impact, and to provide Nigerian youths with investment inputs needed to grow successful businesses.
NIRSAL MFB will receive an initial take-off capital of N12.5 billion.
Young adults between 18 and 35 years are eligible for the fund. The guidelines detail the actions required to support business establishment, expansion and employment generation for youths in vital sectors of the economy as well as social sectors.
Youths will also be provided with a special window for accessing funds, finances, business management skills and other imperatives for sustaining enterprise development, the document said.
The apex bank disclosed that the youth and sports development ministry is the lead implementation body and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for fund mobilisation.
According to the regulator, the fund plans to empower Nigerian youths to create 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.