The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund.

The Federal Executive Council approved the establishment of the fund for three years (2020–2023) to assist the Nigerian youths that require urgent funds for their businesses.

In the CBN’s guidelines for the implementation of the scheme published on its site, the apex bank also blacklisted some individuals from the fund. CBN said the scheme’s aim is to financially empower Nigerian youth to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.

According to the framework, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB), the financial institution to manage the scheme, will be funded with an initial take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion.

Criteria & Eligibility for the Fund

Both informal and formal business enterprises will benefit from the scheme. For individuals or sole proprietors of informal enterprise to be eligible, they must fulfil the following conditions:

(i) Be a youth within the age bracket of 18-35 years.

(ii) Have business/enterprises domiciled and operational in Nigeria.

(iii) Has not been convicted of any financial crime in the last 10 years.

(v) Has a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN)

(vi) Possess Local Government Indigene Certificate.

For the formal business enterprises (Youth Owned Enterprises), that are legal entities duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) these require the following documents;

  • Evidence of registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (Certificate of Incorporation and Form CAC 2A);
  • Business questionnaire;
  • List of Directors with BVN nos.;
  • Evidence of regulatory approvals (where applicable);
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN).

Cooperative societies duly registered with the relevant government authorities and members of Commodity Associations that fall within the eligible age bracket are also eligible to participate.”

It, however, said applicants currently enjoying NMFB loans, including the Targeted Credit Facility

(TCF) and Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS) loans that remain unpaid ”are not eligible to apply.”

”Also beneficiaries of other government loan schemes that remain unpaid are also not eligible to participate.”

Eligible Activities/Businesses

”Legally allowed activities in the sectors or focal areas listed below shall be eligible:

”Technology/ Innovation; Agriculture and related value chain; Green Economy and Renewable energy sector; Manufacturing, Hospitality/Tourism; Construction; Logistics and supply chain;

Healthcare value chain, Creative sector and Trading and Services.”

It said others may be determined by NYIF/CBN from time to time.

“However, preference shall be given to enterprises that will support the growth of priority sectors, specifically those identified by the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan ERGP and the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan.”

It said individuals with unregistered businesses can get up to N250,000 loan while registered businesses can get up to N3 million (including working capital) with not more than 5 per cent per annum interest rate.

It is advisable that youths seeking to apply for this fund do so with their registered company. A company can be registered online at the Corporate Affairs Commission or through accredited agents.

By Resolution Law Firm