CBN, Heritage Bank Commences Disbursement of YIEDP Fund

Heritage Bank Plc has concluded arrangement for a pre-disbursement of loan to beneficiaries of Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP).
The CBN-YIEDP fund is a N3 billion fund with a three year tenor at nine per cent set aside by the CBN for serving NYSC members and ex-NYSC members who have concluded their service since 2010. An individual beneficiary can have access to N3 million.
According to the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications of Heritage Bank, Olusola Longe-Okenimkpe, the bank a bid to get the scheme off ground, has organised a pre-disbursement training programme for select members of its staff across the country that will implement the scheme. The workshop was held simultaneously in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja recently.
“Also as part of the strategies, Heritage Bank is partnering with Background Check International to cross check the documents of the applicants, partnering with food processors to act as anchor for the beneficiaries as well as with Small and Medium Size Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN),” she explained.
Longe-Okenimkpe noted that with the launching of the programme on March 15, 2016, about 4,000 applicants had applied for the scheme out of which the bank shortlisted 1,500 applicants for training. Of this she said 1,200 attended the training session, while 50 applicants were forwarded to the CBN out of which the apex bank approved 26 applications for loan disbursement.
Longe-Okenimkpe in a statement said dummy cheques will be presented to 10 of the 26 beneficiaries across the six geographical zones in the premises of the bank next month. The qualified business sectors of the scheme include agro-allied, food processing/preservation, arts and crafts, manufacturing/cottage industry, information and communication technology, construction support, power and energy, education and financial inclusion, film and photography and automobile among others.
In recognition of its commitment to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Youth development, Heritage Bank had been adopted by the CBN as the pilot bank for the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP). The programme is aimed at harnessing the latent entrepreneurial spirit among the teeming youths by providing timely and affordable loans to implement their business ideas.
The major objective of the scheme is to provide a sustainable mechanism to stimulate employment, contribute to the non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as address the challenge of youth restiveness in the country.

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