GOVERNOR of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said that the Bank is targeting to create about 21 million entrepreneurs in the productive sector of the economy through the N210 billion Youth Entrepreneur Development Programme, YEDP, it initiated in collaboration with Heritage Bank Ltd. He made this known during the flag-off ceremony of the programme in Abuja yesterday for the successful 1,350 pioneer youths that applied under Small and medium enterprise development fund programme. He also revealed that the programme aims to create one million jobs in the productive sector of the economy within the next one year. Mr. Emefiele said that the growth of small businesses is the key element to building a strong economic base that is resilient to global fluctuations. “Entrepreneurship among youths have been hindered by low capacity and funding, making many youths to jettison their laudable ideas. Their inability to access funding has been the bane of developing the ideas of many enterprising youth in Nigeria.” “Unfortunately, not many organisations are hiring, but we know that the youth have ideas and with the type of training they have gone through, we are afforded with the opportunity to work with them, to nurture their dreams to not only become entrepreneurs, but also employers of labour,” he said. In his address, the Director General, National Youth Service Corps, Brig. Gen. Sule Kazaure, said that the programme is a milestone in the history of NYSC youth empowerment programme as over 600,000 youth previously trained under SAED programme have not had an opportunity for funding as provided by the CBN. “Corps members will not only be trained in rapid succession, but will now be linked with the source of funding as other financial institutions have indicated interest to develop the youth entrepreneur skills.” he said. Also speaking during the programme, the Managing Director, Heritage bank (lending bank) Mr. Ifie Sekibo encouraged the corpse members to take seriously the new venture by exhibiting a spirit of entrepreneurship, character and tenacity. “You represent our first intern experiment that we believe, if we succeed with you, we just might be on the part to creating a society that is worth our while. You represent tomorrow for us and for us to invest in you, you need to show us something that probably made us to select you. Beyond sponsoring this project, the effort that you put towards it is what matters.” he said. Recipients who utilise the funds properly could be encouraged to migrate to the other CBN interventions where they could be given more funds to grow their businesses. The collateral for accessing the funds includes tertiary institution and NYSC certificates.