“Now, will it be safe to ask if Nigeria is a country where leaders are bereaved of ideas and have easily lost focus when faced with challenges that tasked reasoning and intellectual ability? This accounts for why government at various levels in Nigeria have not been able to find solution to the problem of youth unemployment despite huge resources at its disposal.
The recent launch of YOUWIN by President Goodluck Jonathan has further confirmed the inconsistency in government policy once there is a change of leadership at any level of governance. This has been the bane of the nation’s progress in virtually every aspect of life because in public policy process, action is the path to sustainable governance in any country. But this realistic precept is what is missing in this present administration especially in terms of job creation for the teeming unemployed youth.
The Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (You WiN!) Programme is a collaboration of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communication Technology (CT), and the Ministry of Youth Development that will launch an annual Business Plan Competition (BPC) for aspiring young entrepreneurs in Nigeria, in line with the Federal Government’s drive to create more jobs for Nigerians. The programme will be implemented in partnership with Nigeria’s private sector, who will be requested to provide support funding. Even though N50 billion is already earmarked for this in the 2011 budget.
The main objective of the You WiN! programme according to the president is to generate jobs by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas that will lead to job creation. The programme will provide aspiring youth with a platform to show case their business acumen, skills and aspirations to business leaders, investors and mentors in Nigeria.
It is also to attract ideas and innovations from young entrepreneurial aspirants from universities, polytechnics, technical colleges, and other post-secondary institutions in Nigeria. Provide a one time equity grant for 1,200 selected aspiring entrepreneurs to start or expand their business concepts and mitigate start up risks. Generate 40,000 to 50,000 new jobs for currently unemployed Nigerian youth over the three years during which the three cycles will be implemented. Provide business training for up to 6,000 aspiring youth entrepreneurs spread across all geo-political zones in Nigeria.
Encourage expansion, specialisation and spin-offs of existing businesses in Nigeria, and enable young entrepreneurs to access a wide business professional network and improve their visibility.
On the YouWiN website, it is said to be an equity contribution to business and not a loan but a grant. Award recipients will be paid according to the needs of the business and specific mile-stones stated in the business plan. Award recipients also must be registered before disbursement of funds even though they do not need registration to apply. YouWiN will support the registration process. Recipients will operate accounts using their registered companies, with any of the participating commercial banks prior to disbursement. Recipients must also sign a grant agreement with the managers of YouWin before disbursement of funds.
Looking critically at the project and the level of underdevelopment among the Nigeria youth, it is certain that this project is for the elite youth which constitute an insignificant per centage of the Nigeria youth. Also, all these will amount to wasteful venture if the efforts of previous governments are abandoned instead of building upon them. For instance, the government of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua which has President Jonathan as the vice president in its efforts to find solution to the problem of unemployment approved the National Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP 2009 – 2011) produced by the Ministry of Youth Development in accordance to the recommendation of the United Nations to provide a mutil-sectoral strategy for creation of jobs for millions of our unemployed youth. It was adopted as a basis for material response to the youth unemployment question. . .” AllAfrica.com has the full story.