Home News YouWin beneficiaries protest 13 months grant delay

YouWin beneficiaries protest 13 months grant delay


Abuja  – Winners of the third edition of the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin) programme on Monday stormed the headquarters of the ministry of finance and almost paralysed business activities at the place.

The youths said they were protesting the 13 months delay in the release of their grants.

It will be recalled that the YouWin program is an innovative business plan competition aimed at job creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas.

The accomplishments of the 1,200 YouWin awardees were celebrated at the Presidential Villa on April 12, 2012.

YouWin Women was the second edition of the entrepreneurial scheme, which was designed for only female entrepreneurs aged 45 years or less.

The third edition, which supported both male and female entrepreneurs in Nigeria, in 2014 announced 1500 beneficiaries.

A representative of the awardees, Mr Abdulhakeem Mustapha, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that 1,500 of them were yet to receive any payment since the beginning of the current administration.

“We were selected after submitting competitive business plans and rigorous interviews conducted by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

“We were invited to execute grant agreement with the federal government in late 2014 and fund disbursement started in January 2015.

“The funds were divided into three tranches, with awardees expected to meet milestones and target in areas before payment.

“Awardees were paid the first tranche and subsequently some awardees were also paid the second tranche. However, some awardees were not paid the second tranche, especially those under Stanbic IBTC and UBA banks.

“After repeated enquires the YouWin Secretariat claimed the issues with disbursement were due to the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Accounts Policy.

“It is instructive to note that the delay by the federal government to pay awardees due for payment for 13 months have seriously affected our businesses.

“We have made several representations to the ministry with little or no result. We urgently urge the government to pay the outstanding tranches two to deserving.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr Mahmoud Isa Dutse, while addressing them said 680 awardees have been cleared and their payment was ready.

He refuted the claim that payment was done based on favoritism.

He said the YouWin secretariats were following due process to ensure transparency in payment of the grant.

He enjoined them to be patient as everyone will get paid subsequently.

NAN reports that some of the placards carried by the protesters read “We are youth with innovation, don’t kill our dreams, pay our grants”, Pay YouWin3 awardees to create jobs you promised Nigerians”. (NAN)

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