• July 15, 2024



By our Reporter

The Federal Government has disclosed its intention to collaborate with the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity to create job opportunities for the Nigerian youths focusing on men, women, people living with disabilities, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The Honourable Minister of Youth Development, Dr. Jamila Bio-Ibrahim made the disclosure when she received the Grants, Finance, and Risk management officer of Mastercard Foundation Fund, Abraham Jeff Ndambuki, who paid her a visit in her office in Abuja.

The Minister said the Ministry is focusing on priority sectors of the Federal Government which are Agriculture, Climate Adaption, Digital Economy, Bio-economy, Mining, and Renewable Energy so as to establish young people in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

She expressed the preparedness of the Ministry to parner with the Mastercard foundation and advised that participants for the programme should be selected in clusters so that each participant can leverage on the advantage of the others within the same cluster. She posited that this approach would provide greater opportunities for more young entrepreneurs to benefit from the fund.

The Minister promised to provide the foundation with a database of young people who will be beneficiaries and will ensure that the businesses are sustainable and successful.

The Minister further said, “We are also in the process of designing a framework for the Youth Development Bank. The Youth Investment Fund is in the review process. We want to improve and expand on this programme. We will operationalize the fund. We are well open to ideas on how we can work together and collaborate on those Government priority sectors.”

In his presentation, the Manager Grants, Finance and Risk for the Mastercard Foundation Funds for Prosperity and Resilient, Mr. Ndambuki revealed that the programme had been implemented in 20 African countries, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria is one of them.

He said, “We have engaged 35 different stakeholders including government officials and the private sector, the programme is in its second phase, the first phase was completed last year, and it lasted ten years. It was valued at 50 million dollars, and we succeeded in disbursing the entire 50 million dollars across 8 countries.”

Ndambuki further said, “The foundation has come with a second phase and increased the amount to 126 million dollars, which is equivalent to approximately 194 billion naira in today’s rate. The organisation said it would last for the next seven years, so we are now in the first year which is the preliminary stage, that is why we are performing the visibility market research to identify and understand the Nigeria markets.”

He stated that Nigeria is the organisation’s central focus, adding that their presence in the country is to try to identify the key stakeholders they need to partner and engage with as they start the programme this April.

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