Monday, March 21, 2016 2:52PM / CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP) in furtherance of its intervention in the real sector of the economy and job creation effort.
Performing the official launch at the International Training Institute, Maitama, Abuja, on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the programme was aimed at harnessing the teeming youth population in the country to propel that demography to the much-needed economic recovery.
Emefiele, who decried the alarming figures coming from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which put the number of Nigerian youths in the labour market at 36.3 million, representing 48 percent of the entire labour force, said the situation could not be allowed to degenerate further, given the bright ideas and big dreams of the youth.
The Governor stressed that the programme would provide timely and affordable credit to assist youths in implementing their business ideas, thereby providing the mechanism of stimulating growth, reducing unemployment as well as addressing youth restiveness.
According to Emefiele, the pilot phase of the programme will target 10,000 youths in productive activities within the next four years. He added that the programme was open to youth corps members and those with not more than five years of post-NYSC experience.
Speaking further, the CBN Governor said that a credit line of up to N3 million would be made available to each eligible youth, while recipients who were on records to have made good utilization of the funds would be encouraged to migrate to other CBN intervention schemes that would enable them access more funds.
On collateral requirements for the participation in the programme, Emefiele explained that the Bank would make such assets including academic and NYSC certificates, third party guarantees and other moveable assets as collateral for all the successful candidates.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Johnson Bamidele Olawumi, whose organization collaborated with the CBN to float the YIEDP, said the YIEDP would provide world class training start-up capital to youth corps members who have indicated interest in skill acquisition and entrepreneurship.
Olawumi also added that the programme was designed to complement the other interventions of the NYSC such as the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) founded in 2012 and Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) launched in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BoI).
He therefore admonished corps members nationwide to take advantage of the opportunity by coming up with creative ideas and bankable business plans that would qualify them to access the fund. The DG NYSC, who emphasized that the training, empowerment and policies that would encourage patronage of locally made products would ensure the success of the YIEDP, praised the efforts of the Bank for its supports for made in Nigeria goods.
In her welcome remarks, the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Dr. (Mrs.) Sarah Alade, described the youth entrepreneurship programme as very important in view of the need to urgently and meaningfully engage Nigerian youths, who now form over 70 percent of the population, in productive activities.
She further explained that the programme was Internet-based and aimed at improving access to finance and markets, fostering trade and investments, and enhancing the ability of young entrepreneurs to more effectively tap the opportunities offered by the programme and global production value chain.
She expressed confidence that the programme would boost job creation efforts in the country as well as evolve a new crop of young entrepreneurs who will make Nigeria globally competitive, eradicate importation of those goods that we can produce locally and put the country on the path of sustainable economic growth.
The Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP) is being implemented in collaboration with Heritage Bank and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The event attracted stakeholders in the development finance sector, Deposit Money Banks, members of the NYSC and executives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).