No fewer than 26,000 jobs may be lost if nothing urgent is done to finance the 5000 beneficiaries of the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria(YouWiN) Connect programme of the Federal Government, the beneficiaries say.
Mr Temitope Babalola, Convener, who briefed newsmen on behalf of the beneficiaries on Saturday in Abuja, said that YouWiN Connect 2017 was a rebranded version of the YouWiN programme of the previous administration.
He commended the Federal Government for the continuation of the programme through the Federal Ministry of Finance targeted at empowering young entrepreneurs.
According to him, the success of the programme has been based on capacity building and funding of going concerns, as well as start-ups with the slogan-START, PLAN AND GROW.
“One of the two specific objectives of the YouWiN Connect programme, amongst others, is to yearly build capacity of 55,500 budding entrepreneurs and increase their firm’s growth by 20 per cent and employment of participating MSMEs and Start-Ups in Nigeria-funding and capacity building are mutually inclusive.
“The Federal Government has succeeded in the capacity building aspect of the programme but it is yet to make any impact with regards to funding of MSMEs and Start-Ups.
“YouWiN surveys conducted by university scholars shows that previous beneficiaries of the programme –YouWiN 1 currently employs 7, 951 staff, YouWiN 2, 6,572 staff and YouWiN 3, 11, 816 staff.
“Further research has shown that without financing, most respondents would be years behind in growth or be forced to shut down their businesses,’’ he said.
Babalola said that it has been statistically proven that the contributions and activities of MSMEs and Start-Ups were the backbone of any economy’s growth.
He urged the Federal Government to take the funding of the programme seriously as it would have enormous economic impact on the nation.
According to him, the beneficiaries will lawfully and doggedly pursue their cause unit there is a conclusive win from all parties involved for the greater good of the nation’s economy.
The appeal by the 5,000 YouWin Connect beneficiaries is backed by the National Youth Council of Nigeria(NYCN).