5,000 young Nigerians shortlisted as beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s youth empowerment programme, YouWin Connect for 2017/2018, have pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to use his good office and instruct the Federal Ministry of Finance to release their seed capital in order to fund their various business proposals.
According to a press statement issued to journalists in Abuja at the weekend signed by Yusuf Hamza Maska, the plea is contained in a letter written to the President by the group of the YouWin Connect 2017/2018 finalists.
“We, the beneficiaries of YouWin Connect 2017/2018 edition, humbly write you, Mr. President, to reiterate our ever readiness to employ our youthful energy and talents into useful ventures that will create jobs, create and recreate wealth to boost the nation’s economic development.
“Therefore, we solicit your magnanimous directive to the Minister of Finance for immediate release of funds for our proposed businesses,” the statement quoted the letter as saying.
The group recalled that in 2017, an invitation to participate in the YouWiN Connect programme was issued by the Ministry of Finance after which 61,000 young Nigerians out of 250,000 applicants were invited to participate.
It added that only about 55,000 young Nigerians successfully attended and submitted the online assessment test out of which the successful 5,000 young Nigerian entrepreneurs were finally selected in December, 2017 after scoring high in the online test.
“The finalists were shortlisted in three categories: the national merit list, the regional merit list and the state merit list.
Then, in the first quarter of 2018, precisely in March, a master class (face to face) training and interview was organised for the successful candidates and certificates were issued to us.
“Your Excellency, since then till now we have not received any positive information from the Ministry of Finance concerning the anticipated funding of our proposed businesses or even information on what have been delaying the progress of the programme.
“We wish to humbly remind Mr President and the federal government that five thousand young Nigerians represent five thousand families and there is no family that is less than two (2) persons.
Check out the multiplier effect of lives that will be touched plus the jobs that will be created by implementing the programme. “We are writing this public letter to you, Mr. President, so that you and the entire Nigerians would know that five thousand young Nigerians are held down and their dreams are almost being thwarted,” it said.
LEADERSHIP reports that between September and October, 2018, the finalists held protests in Abuja and other cities across the country, demanding to know the reason why they are yet to receive a response from the Federal Ministry of Finance on the progress of the programme.