Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in collaboration with the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC has come up with the Youth Entrepreneurship Development programme to harness the latent entrepreneurial spirit of teeming youths by providing timely and affordable credit to assist them in implementing their business ideas.
Speaking at the launching of the programme in Abuja yesterday, Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele said that the pilot phase will be targeting 10,000 youths with the aim of creating one million direct jobs in productive activities within the next four years.
According to him, “This is expected to provide a sustainable mechanism to stimulate growth, reduce unemployment and contribute to addressing restiveness, particularly the sector that will engender growth and diversity in various facets of life.”
Emefiele explained that the programme is open to youths who are either serving in the National Youth Service or those not more than five years post NYSC service. He added that credit line will be made available up to N3million to each eligible youth, thereby fixing the problem of inadequate finance often encountered by business start-ups.
He added that, recipients who utilize the funds properly could be encouraged to migrate to other CBN interventions where they can access more funds.
Speaking further on what spurred the apex bank to delve into the programme, the CBN boss stated that the third quarter 2015 report on labour market by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, indicated that there were over 36.3 million youths in Nigerian labour market, representing 48 percent of the entire labour force.
However, about 13.6 million of theme or 37.7 percent were either unemployed or underemployed. “The situation cannot be allowed to fester given that many of our youths have very bright ideas and big dreams but are constrained by seed funding which is very scarce.”
And in order to expedite the programme, he disclosed that collateral requirements will be very simple to include assets such as academic and NYSC certificates, third party guarantees and other movable assets. “Let me note at this juncture that this programme will be an equal opportunity programme across gender and geopolitical zones.”
On his part, NYSC Director – General, Brig.-Gen J B Olawumi said that since the inception of the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development in 2012, NYSC has trained over 500,000 ex-corps members in various agro-based skills. “Unfortunately not all these number were empowered to start up the business as the challenges have always been inadequate access to fund.” According to him, “the stringent lending conditions of most financial institutions compound efforts being made by the scheme to link Corps members trained under the SAED programme to funding.
“However, with the new concept of YIEDP which has liberalised the lending terms, our Corps entrepreneurs will now enjoy unhindered access to start up fund,” he stated.

READ ALSO  Nigerian church must invest in missions, says Uja