To address the issue of rising youth unemployment in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) formally launched the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) in Abuja on Thursday.
The apex bank also presented six pioneer beneficiaries of the scheme with N5 million cheques to help boost their businesses, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth.
Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, stated that the scheme was designed to shift students and graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions away from white-collar jobs and toward entrepreneurship development.
Emefiele stated that the apex bank was working on the scheme with polytechnics and universities across the country.
According to him, the goal is for Nigerian graduates to become job creators rather than job seekers after graduation, as is the case in other parts of the world.
“What we’re doing today is something that people in other parts of the world take for granted.”
“At the CBN, we are concerned about the level of youth unemployment and are taking steps to address it,” he said.
He urged the recipients to make good use of the loans in their businesses in order to spur growth and create more jobs.
He stated that beneficiaries’ academic certificates were accepted as collateral and would be returned to them once the loans were paid off.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the apex bank announced six pioneer beneficiaries of the TIES, including Aisha Sulaiman, a graduate of Bayero University, Kano, and Chukwudi Ukpabi of Federal Polytechnic, Ebonyi.
Others include Zainab Muhammed, a graduate of the Federal Polytechnic in Bida, Nura Abdullahi of Kano State Polytechnic, Simeon Ojopane of Kogi State University, and Adebowale Olaoye, a University accounting graduate.
The CBN Governor also established an 11-member Body of Experts to steer the scheme, chaired by Mr Abubakar Suleman, Managing Director of Sterling Bank PLC.
Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), commended CBN for initiating the scheme in a goodwill message.
Mustapha, who expressed the Federal Government’s support for TIES, called it one of the CBN’s numerous commendable interventions to empower Nigerian youth.
He urged tertiary institutions to ensure that beneficiaries were chosen solely on the basis of merit.
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