Home Business BoI partners Oduduwa Foundation in N1bn youth empowerment fund

BoI partners Oduduwa Foundation in N1bn youth empowerment fund

by Business News Report

The Bank of Industry (BoI) says its partnership with Oduduwa Foundation through a N1 billion youth empowerment scheme will help democratise entrepreneurship in the country. Mr Waheed Olagunju, BoI Acting Managing-Director, said this on Tuesday at the signing ceremony of the scheme in Ile-Ife, Osun.
“We have been partnering with multinational and corporate companies, but today we are collaborating with traditional rulers. These are people who have access to the grassroots and partnering with them is a way of ‎democratising entrepreneurship,’’ Olagunju said in a statement. He said that the fund would be for on-lending to youths and SMEs within the agriculture, agro-allied, solid minerals and services sectors at a concessional rate of 7.5 per cent.
According to him, BoI is developing partnerships with unconventional stakeholders to improve access to finance for Nigerians towards enhanced industrialisation.
He said that up to 20 per cent of the beneficiaries would be those involved in local production, especially value-addition products. He said that a joint committee comprising officials of BoI, Oduduwa House and Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, would select the beneficiaries.
Olagunju disclosed that the first batch of about 5,000 youths had been trained by the EDC to benefit from the initiative. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who promoted the scheme, said that youth empowerment was critical to sustainable economic growth of the nation. He challenged monarchs across the country to support youth development in their domains.

“If the youths of today are empowered, many generations will benefit from them and poverty will be abolished. Today’s event is another giant step in the history of Ile-Ife. We are moulding the future of our youths in the areas of agriculture and agro-allied industry,’’ said the Ife monarch. The royal father urged monarchs to partner with multinational companies and financial institutions to benefit their people.


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