FG admits its young Enterprises programme is fraud-prone, sets up probe
The Federal Government has confirmed that on it had begun investigations into the alleged fraud in its Youth Enterprise With Innovation In Nigeria Programme(YWin) .
This is sequel to a series of petions sent to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, by aggrieved members of the public, who alleged that some of the officials were helping beneficiaries after collecting in advance about 10 per cent of the money to be received as bribe.
According to the programme, a young entrepreneur with talented skill is to be supported by government, upon application with the sum of between N7 million to N10 million after being satisfied worthy by an inter-ministerial Committee, headed by a senior official of the Finance Ministry.
But an official said already a preliminary investigation had discovered that some senior civil servants were giving some applicants some hints on how to win slots for the programme.
“From the inquiry so far conducted, Some of the beneficiaries could not have qualified for the grants, if they were not aided by their associates in-house, but a clearer picture will be unveiled soon, ” Finance Ministry spokesman, Salisu Dalmatia, stated on Friday.
“A whistle-blower provided documentary evidence of irregularities in 10 cases out of the third batch of the YouWin programme.
“The minister had directed that an internal investigation be conducted to determine the veracity of the alleged fraud and the findings should be reported to her for necessary action,” he said.
About 1,500 entrepreneurs were said to have applied for the programme, which the administration inherited from Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.
What was of major worry, said a source,, was that some children of top government officials were alleged to have benefited through the back door, as revealed by the whistleblower.
“The position of the ministry is that investigations are ongoing under the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, which will review each suspected case to determine whether any irregularity occurred, ” spokesman stated.