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Youth urged to show up for 'idle' funds

By Kennedy Gachuhi | January 21st 2021

NAKURU, KENYA: The government has urged the youth to take up special funds with various agencies in a bid to support efforts to resuscitate the economy.

Officials from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) decried low uptake of the funds despite government efforts to sensitise the youth on the availability of the finances on loan terms.

Speaking to the press, Nakuru County YEDF officer Joshua Mureithi revealed that the local youth barely utilises half of the funds allocated to them annually.

"This financial year, for example, Nakuru County received Sh70 million for loans to youth under YEDF. Seven months down the line only Sh15 million has been applied for and disbursed," said Mureithi.

He urged the youth to apply for the funds to start or boost their business while at the same time creating employment opportunities for themselves and those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

"This is the right time for youth to apply for these funds to help rebuild our economy. Many people were rendered jobless and this Fund presents a lifeline opportunity if utilized well," he said.

At the same time, Mureithi revealed that impatience among the youth was a major cause for the disqualification of a few applicants who rush through the process and miss out on vital details.

"Accessing the funds requires having all documents put in order. Unfortunately, some apply for financial support but are not willing to follow the set procedures leading to disqualification," said Mureithi.

He added that a section of the successful applicants were giving up on their ventures before they start making returns or deliberately declining to pay back loans. He said that this is likely to affect the availability of the funds in future.

"In the last financial year, only 20 per cent of the loans we extended were repaid. YEDF is a revolving fund and requires repayment of loans to extend the same to other applicants. Failure to repay limits the maximum credit we can extend to the applicant," he said.

Outgoing Uwezo Fund director Bishop Stanley Michuki urged the youths to seek financial advice before investing the funds to ensure there is guaranteed returns.

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