By Emmanuel Addeh
FHT Ventures Plc has said it is set to raise about N100 billion bond, repayable in 10 years, as a private sector-led scheme in partnership with the government and its overseas partners to empower 70 million Nigerian youths.
While stressing that the federal government was expected to guarantee the sum, the Executive Chairman of the organisation, Mr. Olubunmi Adewa-Faboro, noted that the scheme was to showcase a grand private sector led project in the country to promote ventures that would keep youths away from crime and insurgency currently prevailing in Nigeria.
Speaking at the official unveiling of Nigeria Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP) and the website in Abuja, Adewa-Faboro stressed that the pilot scheme would see the training of 1,000 youth entrepreneurs in every state in Nigeria.
He listed key areas of concentration as agri-business, mass housing and solid mineral mining, adding that the youths shall be coordinated through cooperative law and will be allowed to own shares in the venture.
“Our company is raising a bond of N100 billion from the Nigeria capital market and the federal government guarantee is required. This bond shall be repaid in 10 years and it shall be invested in agriculture, real estate and solid mineral mining,” he stated.
He added that discussions are ongoing with the federal ministry of trade and investment in order to formalise a Private and Public sector Partnership (PPP).
According to Adewa-Faboro, the Federal Capital Territory through the youth development department has also indicated interest to make the project a success while it awaits the formal endorsement of the presidency through the office of the chief of staff.
He noted that since the Nigeria Land Use Act vested all powers on the state governments for land ownership and allocation, the scheme will be be relying on the cooperation of the state governments on the allocation of land.
“We are enjoining the guarantee of every state government to secure intervention fund of N5 billion per state to ensure investment in agriculture, mass housing and solid mineral mining.
“Since the project’s primary objective is to put all Nigerian youths between the ages of 18 years to 45 years into productive and viable business activities, it becomes imperative for the state governments to render this essential institution support,” the firm said.
Adewa-Faboro stated that the firm has already formalised a memorandum of understanding with partners in the Middle East to train and empower the Nigeria youths in the proposed areas.
“With the necessary institution support from the federal government through the federal ministry of trade and investment, this cooperation shall be actualised within six calendar months, starting from now,” he added.
In his comments, President of the Nigerian Youths and Students Coalition (NYSC), Mr. Mumeen Ibrahim, called for the necessary support for the project from all stakeholders, saying that if given the necessary skills, the youths were capable of transforming the country.
“The multiplier effect of this would reach all age groups through indirect means. We must be reminded at all times that the leadership of Nigeria Youth and Student Coalition shall be responsible for the nomination of coordinating leaders and beneficiaries of the project in the 36 state including the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.
“Worldwide, young people make up a quarter of the world’s population. Therefore, we must always believe that we are a driving force behind change, be it economic, social or political.
“By inviting you to join the train of this project, we hope that after the selections, trainings and execution by various participants in all the phases of this project, economically marginalised but enterprising and vibrant Nigerian youth will all be empowered with new visions and skills, and motivated to become factors of change on the level of their communities and amongst friends and family,” he stated.