The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said that the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) has the potential of becoming the stimulus for job and wealth creation, growth and economic development through improved access to finance by young entrepreneurs.
Mr. Godwin Emefiele made the statement while welcoming guests to the commencement of loan disbursements to Nigerian youths under the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) launched by the Bank on March 15, 2016.
He stated that the programme was aimed at providing affordable credit to identified youth entrepreneurs with expected multiplier effect on job creation and economic growth. This, according to him, was also to ensure that the creative energies of the over 64 million Nigerian youths were harnessed to stimulate growth, address restiveness and promote economic development.
He noted that globally, access to credit had been recognized as a powerful instrument to enable entrepreneurs build assets, increase income, reduce vulnerability, economic stress and grow sustainable businesses. To realize this objective, the Governor said that the Bank in partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and Heritage Bank began the pilot seven months ago, to inspire and harvest the entrepreneurial abilities of Nigerian youths towards creating over 1 million direct jobs by 2020.
The Governor, represented by the Deputy Governor (Corporate Services), Alhaji Suleiman Barau thanked the Director General (DG) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig Gen. Sule Kazaure for granting waiver of fees for the authentication of Corp members’ details, Heritage Bank Ltd for the provision of the portal for the pre-qualification and screening of applications, and all other stakeholders that have supported and bought into our vision of youth empowerment to reduce unemployment in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the DG NYSC thanked the CBN for its effort in empowering youths in the country, noting that collaboration between the CBN and the NYSC had existed since 2006 through entrepreneurship and skill acquisition development.
He noted that the collaboration that led to the YEDP led to increase in the number of beneficiaries, funding business plans of corps members to encourage and motivate youths in the culture of entrepreneurship, facilitate access to other funding agencies and possibility of corps members to access CBN intervention programmes such as the MSME.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of symbolic cheques to some of the beneficiaries.
In attendance at the event was the Deputy Governor (Financial System Stability), Dr. Joseph Nnanna with representatives of the Managing Director, Heritage Bank; Director General National Directorate for Employment and staff of the CBN.