Youth Empowerment Threatened As NDE Loan Beneficiaries Renege On Repayment | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Youth Empowerment Threatened As NDE Loan Beneficiaries Renege On Repayment

Posted: Mar 28, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwudi Nweje LAGOS


As President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government mulls the payment of a monthly stipend of N5, 000 to unemployed youths, most unemployed youths who accessed the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) revolving loan have reneged in meeting their obligations.

Available figures showed that in year 2000 alone NDE claimed 21,708 youths received training in vocational skills in 36 states of the federation and Abuja, while 5,075 graduated in different trades.

The scheme has a special arrangement for women on how to process, preserve and package food.

Currently, the drawback on NDE’s schemes stemmed from the absence of follow-up programme for beneficiaries.

Independent reports that most of the beneficiaries did not utilise the skills they acquired, others did not invest properly the loans received from NDE while majority of the youths that passed through the programme found themselves in a worse state.

Available statistics from the directorate showed that they disbursed N526,901,313.11 as loans since inception for its various programmes with only 24.4 percent or N129,048,757.63 of the loan recovered from beneficiaries.

But close NDE sources revealed that billions of naira remains in NDE books as outstanding loans or bad loans under the scheme.

Independent investigation showed that the high level default by beneficiaries of the scheme over the years has threatened the essence of the programme in youth’s entrepreneurship development and skill acquisition.

NDE had disbursed huge guaranteed loans as start up funds to help youths become entrepreneurs with the understanding that such loans would be paid back so that other unemployed youths would be offered the same opportunity to become entrepreneurs.

Mr. Edmund Onwuliri, Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations of NDE, said on Sunday that NDE had put new mechanisms in place to assist in the recovery of the outstanding loans from defaulters.

Onwuliri, who did not explain the mechanism or provide a profile on the number of defaulters and the exact value outstanding, however, urged the defaulters to repay the loans to avoid compelling their guarantors nationwide to offset the loans.

“You are dealing with human beings; even commercial banks are not finding it easy to recover loans from their clients.

“Our own case is peculiar as the organisation is dealing with unemployed youths who have no experience in business,” he said.

The NDE was established on March 25, 1986, through an enabling NDE’s Act, CAP 250, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (formerly Decree No.34 of 1989) that gave the body the legal backing as an employment agency, statutorily charged with the responsibility to design and implement programmes to combat national youth unemployment.

NDE, through its offices in the 36 state capitals and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, aims at making interested youths become owners of small businesses.

As part of the measures to actualize its mandate and sustain growth in youth empowerment, the directorate to date built about 126 skills acquisition centres nationwide to boost the standard of its training programmes.