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YouWIN is failing, says ActionAid

The Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN) launched on October 11, 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan is failing because it is not connecting with existing pro-employment plans and projects, but high-political influence, the ActionAid Nigeria said in a report.
Deputy Country Director Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba and Governance Coordinator Esther Agbon presented the report titled “YouWIN performance and impact study report” at a validation meeting yesterday in Abuja.
Lead Consultant of the Man-hour Consulting Associates and Citizens for Justice, Employment and Transparency (C-JET), Victor Anyanwu, who read the report, said the existence and implementation of the programme seem to have drawn largely from the presence of high-political influence of the Finance Ministry and that had the programme been subjected to normal cost-benefits and due process evaluation, it may not have been accorded the prominence and priority witnessed.
He noted that the result of the programme’s third and final edition of 1,500 awardees was announced in September 2014, while the awardees from the two previous editions have commenced operations and are employing various numbers of workers in their businesses. He however regretted that monitoring of programme implementation has been restricted to only the organizations approved by the implementing Ministry and that it has not been easy for an independent monitor to access the awardees and their business places.
He said 60 awardees enterprises were targeted for assessment with 54 successfully contacted across the six geo-political zones and their completed questionnaires used for the study.
“The awardees were not restricted to or focused on any preferred sector of the economy, such that over 25 percent, about 35 percent and 14.8 percent respectively, are into services, agriculture and pseudo-manufacturing (which included sachet water packaging); one awardee ventured into the highly needed energy services. The  about 2, 390 currently active awardees of the first and second Youwin editions engage an average of 10 workers per business, while the estimated best performance of the entire 3,900 awardees will be the creation of 40,108 jobs. This figure will fall very short of the 80,000-110,000 jobs targeted by government, even without giving consideration for the critical issue of job quality.
“Again, most of the awardees are facing the challenge of inadequate power supply and additional funding for their sustenance and continuing business expansion, and accordingly express need for additional support. At Nigeria’s current population of about 177million, at least 54 percent of the youth in the 15-44years bracket of an 80 million labour force amounts to 43.2million unemployed youth; and it is against this number that Youwin can at best offer 40,108 jobs (still very short of the insignificant 80,000-110,000 programme target),” he said.
He therefore suggested that the government should quickly institute a battery of both fiscal and monetary instruments to revive the economy and spin off millions of sustainable jobs, and must also invent a sustainable low-interest regime for inclusive entrepreneurial activities to thrive, far and beyond Youwin type of restricted grant among others.

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