YOUTH Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin) programme, started in 2012 as part of palliative measures following partial removal of petroleum subsidy by the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration has so far gulped N11.2 billion in funding.
However, the Federal Government is set to start consultations with beneficiaries and other stakeholders on the restructuring and refocusing of the multi-billion naira with the objective of injecting new ideas for its sustainability.
A statement from the Federal Ministry of Finance on Tuesday also so far, grants totaling N7.4 billion have been disbursed to the awardees and that this month alone, N1.687 billion was paid to 638 awardees in the third edition of the programme.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said government was considering a considerable reduction in the amount currently being given to individual winners of the programme.
According to her, “currently, FG gives winners N10m as a grant, that is a lot of money that will not come back to FG, so we need to make sure that these funds create sustainable enterprises that create jobs. We also need to look at whether the figure should be N10m to one winner or N1m each to 10 winners.”
The ministry, which has been running the programme from inception, has scheduled the consultation for July 22, 2016 in Abuja, where representatives of the beneficiaries drawn from the six-geo-political zones and other stakeholders would chart a way forward for the programme.
Under the programme which took off in 2011, a total of 18, 000 young entrepreneurs have been trained in various aspects of Small and Medium Enterprises management and business skills; and 3, 900 of them, including 1, 200 women, were each given non-repayable take-off grants for businesses of their choice ranging from N1 million up to a maximum of N10 million.
Adeosun disclosed that as part of the change agenda of the current administration, the YouWin programme has to be restructured to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability in investing the capital grants given to the beneficiaries by the Federal Government.
She said all FG commitments under the YouWIN programme will be fully met, but due diligence would be carried out on every beneficiary, using tools like the Bank Verification Number (BVN), and before disbursements.