Wednesday, February 17, 2016 6:17 pm
About 1,500 Nigerians who won business grants under the Third Edition of the innovative Youwin Program, launched by the Jonathan administration are threatening to embark on hunger strike, public protest and occupation of the Federal Ministry of Finance, if government fails to meet their demands.
The awardees said they have been left in the cold, since the change of government, as government has failed to fulfil the financial assistance promised them to fulfil their business plans.
In a statement, the awardees said the second and third instalments of their grants ranging from N1, 000,000 to N10, 000,000, are now trapped in the Central Bank, with the implementation of the Treasury Single Account, by the Buhari administration.
They said the denial of the funding has disrupted their business plans and risks throwing 4500 people back into the labour market.
Now Grouped as ‘YouWin 3 Awardees’, the business award winners are appealing to the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun and President Muhammadu Buhari to come to their rescue. They last received money nine months ago after the signing of legal agreements with the Ministry of Finance, said Adindueme Hans, who signed on behalf of the group.
The Youwin program was aimed at empowering Nigerian youths to start businesses and create Job Opportunities. The program has helped 3,900 youths to become self employed and employers of Labour, creating over 22,000 jobs in the three editions done so far.
Hans said if the government fails to approve money for them in the next 14 days, they will stage a public protest and occupy the Federal Ministry of Finance. They also plan to embark on hunger strike until their demands are met by government.
“We will never allow our businesses to fail and we have chosen to fight for over 4,500 workers and their families currently working with us,” Hans said.