ADB okays $300m to reduce unemployment, others in Nigeria
• UBA, AFD to finance small, medium enterprises in Africa
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said that the government has signed a $300 million loan agreement with the African Development Bank (ADB) to create jobs in the country.
Mustapha stated that the approved amount under the ‘’ENABLE Youth Programme’’ would also take care of security and nutrition, rural income generation and improved livelihoods for the youths in both urban and rural areas.
The SGF made the disclosure yesterday in his message to a round table on the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Policy Note on tackling youth unemployment in Nigeria. The event was held in Abuja.
He also said that the government was partnering with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) youth programme to create business opportunities and decent employment for over 1,0000 young women and men along priority agricultural value chains in farming, marketing, processing and aquaculture.
Represented by a director in the SGF office, Yinka Alex Aguda, Mustapha explained that before now, the government, through the Bank of Industry, had launched a N20 billion Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme to, among others, empower the youths with loans to start business.
He said the programme was aimed at equipping the young people with the requisite skills and knowledge to be self-employed by establishing and managing their own businesses.
The Acting Director-Genera of BPSR, Dasuki Arabi, said the agency had developed a policy note on youth unemployment in the country.
Meanwhile, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Agence Française de Development (AFD), France’s public and solidarity-based development bank have entered into a partnership to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
The scheme, which would run on the Framework Agreement, is to use the EURIZ and ARIZ schemes offered by the AFD to facilitate the programme and startups across the 20 countries where UBA operates.
The new partnership, an offshoot of the strategic relationship both institutions have had over the years, would enhance UBA’s capacity to finance SMEs in Nigeria and other 19 African countries where the bank currently operates, while ensuring that the AFD uses UBA’s financial structure to reach out to several SMEs across Africa.
Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka said: “Our partnership with (AFD) is novel as the scheme being introduced will enable us reach the various markets in our presence countries and would empower the SMEs across Africa through the provision of financial access, critical to their survival.”
Also speaking at the signing, AFD’s Deputy Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mrs. Cecile Couprie, said: “It is an honour for us at AFD to work with UBA to promote the development of African countries.”
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