Youth Builders Initiative empowers Nigerian Rural Youth EntrepreneursA Nongovernmental Organization based in Nigeria, the Youth Builders Initiative (YBI) under its Economic Stimulus for Rural Entrepreneurs (ESREN) program has awarded debut grants to five rural entrepreneurs out of more than 200 applicants in honor of the 2022 International Youths Day.
The program which was launched in April 2022, having gone through rigorous screening exercise ultimately chose three winners while two additional recipients received consolation prizes.
According to Mr. Audu Kadiri, executive director of Youth Builders Initiative (YBI), both categories of grant beneficiaries underwent a thorough selection processwhich included application, shortlisting, entrepreneurship training, business plan submission, and pitching before the final selection and disbursement.
Speaking about the program’s objective, Kadiri stated ESREN is a social enterprise development initiative aimed at rural and semi-urban communities to reduce the problem of young people migrating from the countryside to the metropolis and decongest Nigerian cities.
He emphasized that the program will also help to improve the standard of living for rural settlers who are involved in small and medium-sized businesses as well as their business acumen.
Rural-urban migration, he stated, is a widespread phenomena that has contributed to population growth in Nigerian cities like Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Benin City, Enugu, and Aba, among others, as well as continuous rural population decline.
He said; “Although young people, especially, those without skillset or basic level of education, migrate from rural settlements to cities for diverse reasons, yet most of them would remain in the village, if they are certain, staying in the village would guarantee better economic conditions and allay the fear of the preponderance of the unemployment that characterizes the cities.”
He said young rural dwellers are lured to the luxury of the civilization in the city, stick out their necks in an attempt to eke out a living, and in the end, most of them end up in a plethora of social vices such as gangsterism, yahoo-yahoo, armed robbery, ritualism, kidnapping, drug peddling, car snatching, pick-pocketing, political thuggery, hired assassination, Boko Haram, banditry, amongst others, thereby constituting nuisance and economic sabotage that culminate in the lingering economic quagmire in the country.
He claims that youths from rural areas are drawn to the comforts of urban life and stick out their necks in an effort to make a living. However, most of them eventually become involved in a variety of social vices, including gangsterism, yahoo-yahoo, armed robbery, ritualism, kidnapping, drug dealing, car snatching, pickpocketing, political thuggery, hired assassination, terrorism and banditry