In an effort to address the rising youth unemployment in the country, precisely that of fresh graduates, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has proposed to partner tertiary institutions to foster entrepreneurship among youths by supporting them with start-up capital for their enterprises upon graduation.
The CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele announced this at the 35th Conference of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), held at the auditorium of Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil.
Represented by the bank’s Director of Development Finance, Dr. Adebowale Olabimtan Idowu, Emefiele said the proposed partnership would also provide a platform for building digital skills relevant to Nigeria’s developmental goals.
According to him, “In furtherance of this objective, the CBN proposes to partner with tertiary institutions to create a paradigm shift among students of the institutions from the orientation of pursuit of white collar jobs to start up business as employers of labour across MSME sectors.
“The focus is to instill a culture of entrepreneurial development among the youth prior to graduation, by supporting them with start-up capital for their enterprises.
“This situation has contributed significantly to the rising youth unemployment across the country. To address this trend, there have been calls for a paradigm shift in our academic orientation of our graduating students from job seeking to job creation through entrepreneurship development.
“This re-orientation is also critical to the recovery efforts to address job losses, low productivity and weak growth impacts of post-COVID-19 pandemic on the productive sectors of the economy and the fallouts from the dwindling oil revenues accruable to the country.
“Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) portend great opportunities for addressing these gaps and accelerating the economic growth, leveraging on our vibrant youth populations.
“To this end, the CBN is developing a Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) to re-orientate, train and finance entrepreneurship ideas among our graduates.
“The scheme is designed to support the development entrepreneurial mindsets and culture through the introduction of a platform that provides seamless access to affordable finance to graduates through innovative channels for participation.”
Thanking the theme of the convention: ‘Pathways to Green Investing Creative Funding and Darq Technologies in Nigeria,’ the CBN Governor said an estimated 600,000 graduates enter the labour market annually seeking the “already thinned out white collar jobs.”
Emefiele, however, announced that the scheme is targeted at graduates of tertiary institutions, including universities, polytechnics, monotechnic and colleges, and will be focused on achieving three themes: re-orienting graduates towards entrepreneurship, promoting entrepreneurship trainings and skills acquisition and facilitating access to finance for innovative business ideas.
He disclosed that CBN representatives would be visiting the tertiary institutions to harness ideas, discuss the implementation dynamics and share preliminary considerations of the proposed Scheme, CBN said.
In order to qualify for the scheme, graduates must have a business idea or plan in writing. Also, they must have been out of the university for a period of one month to maximum of five years. His or her certificate will serve as collateral for accessing loan facilities, CBN said.
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