The Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Sunday Dare, has disclosed that the ministry is yet to access the N25 billion set aside for youths intervention programmes in 2021.
He disclosed this while presenting an overview of the ministry’s 2021 budget and the 2022 budget estimates before the House of Representatives Committee on Youths Development on Monday.
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Dare commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the N25 billion in 2021 appropriation bill.
He, however, said the Ministry is yet to utilize the money for justifiable reasons.
He said: “We are at a point which we are ready to access that money. And that will be a trigger to scaling up the number of youths that will benefit.
“As we speak today, the funds released were released by CBN, administered by CBN and microfinance banks.
“They have the platform that processes it and because it’s their money, we didn’t administer a dime out of that money”.
He added that about 6,054 Nigerians have benefited from the N75 billion youths investment fund, adding that the Ministry will complete 12, out of the 48 youth Development Centres across the six geopolitical zones in 2022.
He said: “Last year, you will recall that Mr President in council approved N75 billion for three years under the Nigerian youths investment fund.
“We started out with a small advance loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
“We requested for N5 billion but as we speak only N2.9 billion has been released.
“As we speak today, 6,054 have benefitted from the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.
“We have gone ahead to make sure that our website releases the name of some of the beneficiaries and the amount they received, the sector of SMEs in which they operate.
“Our goal is to ensure that we increase the number of beneficiaries and that is why we have developed as a ministry our own loan management system.
“It will give us a hundred per cent control, and also open the door for us to access N25 billion directly from the Finance Ministry.
“In 2022, our plan is to complete 12 youth development centres across the geopolitical zones.
“The aim of these development centres is to bring development directly to the youths, keep them within their immediate communities, where they can learn technical skills”.