The Bank of Industry (BoI), says it has disbursed N426.7 million to 253 members National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) under its Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) programme.
This is contained in the bank’s statement given to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.
The statement quoted Mr Waheed Olagunju, Acting Managing Director, BoI, as urging the beneficiaries to utilise the opportunity to lift themselves and other youths out of poverty.
Olagunju gave the advice during the presentation of cheques to beneficiaries of the programme.
He urged the corps members to be good ambassadors of NYSC and BOI.
Olagunju said the programme, which was launched on Oct. 5, 2015, was done in collaboration with the Directorate, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
He said the programme was targeted at encouraging graduates to be entrepreneurs, build capacity, deepen financial inclusion by de-risking them and sustaining their businesses.
Olagunju said the beneficiaries attended 3-day capacity building programme at seven designated training centres across the six geo-political zones of the country.
He added that certificates of participation were issued to the 896 corps members that attended the training under the tutelage of nine entrepreneurship training consultants.
Olagunju said at the end of the programme, 360 candidates submitted loan application worth N695.1 million spanning across 27 out of the 40 product clusters identified by BOI.
The areas were mainly agro-processing; comprising meat processing (cattle and poultry), aquaculture and food processing), quick service restaurants, fashion design, shoe making and cosmetics.
Olagunju said the implementation had challenges.
He said the challenges included proposals that were not viable and some proposals domiciled in locations different from the state of candidates’ places of primary assignment.
He said BoI would continue to improve on the implementation of the programme through a feedback process and create measures that would ensure the success of the businesses of beneficiaries.