By Ezekiel Enejeta
Participants in the ongoing federal government Youth Entrepreneur Support Programme (YES-P) in collaboration with Bank of Industry (BoI) have cried out for a more feasible loan conditions in order to be able to access the 5 million naira loan en marked for the funding of their business ideas.
According to some participants interviewed by our correspondents, after going through a three months rigorous online training and another one week intensive in-class training, the Bank of Industry has presented difficult loan conditions which will effectively make it difficult to get the loan.
The YES-P participants according to the loan terms will have to relinquish two certificates including their degree certificates all through the loan term as a collateral security.
Another huddle is the provision of a loan guarantor who will have to declare their net worth to the bank including bank statement. The categories of individuals who can sign as guarantor are senior civil servants, doctors, lawyers, professionals. According to participants, getting these individuals to sign a loan of 5 million naira in this time of recession is an almost impossible task.
The loan also comes with a 9% interest rate that must be paid within a term of five years.
Most of the would be beneficiary of the scheme are already pulling out as a result of their inability to provide loan guarantors, according to a source in the bank, very few participants, less than 5% have been able to meet the loan conditions.
Some of the participants also complained that the bank will mainly support their business through direct purchase of equipment and other capital assets while releasing only a maximum of 50% of the fund as working capital. According to sources, this arrangement only favors agriculture but disadvantage for those investing in ICT, intellectual properties and those whose business is offering of services.
The YES Programme is an initiative of the federal government and the Bank of Industry to tackling unemployment in the country which is expected to generate 36,000 jobs for the nation. The YES Programme is also part of the federal government’s drive and wealth creation programme which is aimed at addressing the malaise of youth unemployment.
The programme is targeted at young aspiring entrepreneurs within the age range of 18-35 years, who have a minimum educational qualification of Ordinary National Diploma (OND) or its equivalents.
Considering the hurdles standing in the way of these entrepreneurs, it is highly unlikely that the objective of this programme will be accomplished except the federal government steps in and help advice the bank of industry to soften the loan conditions.