Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed willingness to provide opportunities for self-employment of corps members through its skill acquisition training.
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, who made the promise when the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig-Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim paid him a courtesy visit in his office, stressed the need for sustained efforts at reducing the rate of unemployment in the country.
He further noted that interested corps members could attend the CBN entrepreneurship training centres to acquire skills in various vocational areas for economic survival at the end of the service year instead of waiting for white collar jobs.
He announced that such an arrangement would empower corps members for the establishment of small and medium-scale enterprises and contribute to the growth of the economy.
Speaking at the event, the CBN governor explained that upon completion of training, beneficiaries would benefit in kind from working tools and support for renting of business offices or workshops, the cumulative value of which represents a loan that would be repaid within seven years with a two-year moratorium.
“An earlier programme, the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, was launched by the bank in 2016 to serve as a springboard for empowerment of corps members and other youths for self-employment and wealth creation. The CBN National Microfinance Bank would also support interested corps members in business financing.
“We want to advocate patronage of the Nigerian textile industry, the largest employer of labour in the country in the 1990s, as a way of providing more jobs for Nigerians and further developing the economy,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the NYSC DG, praised the CBN for its development finance programmes, noting that the scheme enjoyed robust collaboration with the bank in the area of empowerment of corps entrepreneurs.
Shuaibu noted that: “NYSC remained determined to complement the efforts of the Federal government in stemming the tide of youth unemployment; hence the reinvigoration of the Scheme’s Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme remained one of the top priorities of my administration.”
He, therefore, sought the support of CBN for the scheme through the provision of more zonal skills acquisition centres of the type constructed and equipped for the North East in Gombe with the support of Access Bank.
The Director-General also requested the support of the CBN in the provision of modern equipment for the NYSC farms located in various parts of the country and the scheme’s garment factories, which all served as training grounds for corps members.