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CBN Unveils Framework For N75bn Youth Investment Fund

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released guidelines for the implementation of the proposed N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF).

CBN, in a statement by its Development Finance Department, stated that the fund was a built-in strategy to effectively respond to the challenge of youth employment in Nigeria.

The Fund, an initiative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, is to be managed by NISRAL Microfinance Bank.

It stated that the major objective of the plan was to address fragmentation of youths initiatives that prevent assessment of impact.

`The Federal Executive Council on July 22, approved N75 billion for the establishment of the NYIF from 2020 to 2023.

“It will provide Nigeria youths with investment inputs required to build successful businesses that can become sustainable employers of labour and contributors to the country’s development.

“ The plan targets young people between 18 and 35 years and details the needed actions required to support business establishment, expansion and consequent employment creation for youths in critical economic and social sectors,” it stated.

The apex bank said that the fund was dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian youths.

It added that it would institutionally provide the youths with special window for accessing the funds, finances, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.

“The ministry is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilisation.

“The fund aims to financially empower youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023,’’ the apex bank said.

It added that part of the objectives of the fund was to improve access to finance for youths and youth-owned enterprises for national development.

“It will also generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youths’ restiveness, boost their managerial capacity, and develop their potential to become the future large corporate organizations,’’ it added.

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Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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Labour Warns FG Against Electricity Tariff Hike 

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The Nigeria Labour Congress faulted plans to allegedly sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria, saying it will lead to an increase in electricity tariff.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled, “This Kite will not Fly’’ on Friday.

Wabba explained that instead of allegedly planning to sell the transmission company, FG should focus on improving the electricity supply.

He described the attempt to hand over the TCN to a few ‘privileged’ Nigerians as self-serving, obtuse, odious, morally reprehensible and criminal.

The NLC president said, “The TCN is a strategic economic asset of immense national security implications. This is because the TCN traverses all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

“It will be wrong that our country will be deliberately exposed to an avoidable vulnerability and thus, provide an opportunity to others to restrain the Nigerian state.

“We apprehend that the planned sale of the TCN is only an attempt to further confound the people and concurrently raise electricity tariff. Unfortunately, this time around, Nigerians have had enough.

“The government cannot promise improved power supply to consumers by the planned sale of TCN. The under-the-table scheming as transparent privatisation cannot pass muster.

“It is an unsavoury narrative for our country, that even the privatised assets, which have survived the rapacity of the new owners, have been turned into unrealisable collaterals for unpayable loans.

“This constitutes a bone stuck in the throat of financial institutions and sundry creditors.”

Wabba explained that the plan would “fundamentally weaken the security of the nation and above all, deprive the people of their age-old investments in the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy”.

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