The Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Na­tional Youth Service Corps, (NYSC) yesterday disclosed that a total of 260 corps members have benefitted from the bank’s graduate empowerment programme, which was initiated in partnership with the National Youth Service Corps.
Speaking during the flag-off ceremony of the batch B In-Class Capac­ity building session of the Graduate Entrepreneur­ship fund workshop for corps member at the FCT NYSC Orientation camp in Kubwa yesterday, the Acting Managing Direc­tor of the bank, Waheed Olalunji, noted that the fund was launched to en­courage graduates of Ni­gerian tertiary institutions to become employers of labour rather than job seekers.
Olagunji, who was rep­resented by the Divisional Head of SME South, Ab­dul Ganiyu Mohammed, noted that the workshop, which is held in six se­lected NYSC Orientation camps, (FCT, Lagos, Delta, Ogun, Katsina and Tara­ba), noted that the scheme, which will seek to address the entrepreneur capacity gap of the young NYSC members will also deepen financial inclusion of the corps members and mak­ing them eligible to small business loan, adding that it will ensure sustainabil­ity of the business of the young graduates through effective monitoring.
He stated that the scheme which com­menced in November 2015 has so far approved a soft loan of about N439.8m to a total of 260 candidates, adding that about 140 projects have so far been implement­ed with a total sum of N194.4m discursed.
“The first of the scheme recorded a total of 896 participants at a day capacity building pro­gramme which was held from 18th to 21st Novem­ber 2015. At the end of the training and by the dead­line of February 15, 2016, for the submission of loan applications, a total of 361 candidates had submitted frequest for an aggregate sum of N695.16m span­ning across 27 out of the 40 Micro Small and Me­dium Enterprise (MSME) product clusters identified by BOI.