Central Bank of Nigeria said it is targeting a total of one million jobs through its Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme.
The Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Mr Mudashiru Olaitan, said this on Thursday while speaking at the opening session of a three-day programme for the first set of applicants of the YEDP.
He said the programme was one of the initiatives of the apex bank which was inaugurated on March 15 this year by the CBN Governor,Mr Godwin Emefiele to address the challenges of youth unemployment in the country.
Under the programme, the apex bank in collaboration with Heritage Bank Plc would develop the entrepreneurial capacity of the youths as well as provide them with funds up to N3m each.
Olaitan said following the launch of the scheme, a total of about 10,000 entries were received with 4,833 completing their allocations with Heritage Bank Plc.
He said out of the 4,833 completed applications, 1547 were successful and would benefit from the capacity building programme nationwide.
He said the activities to be covered under the programme were startups and expansion projects in agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, and snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals.
Others are tourism, arts and crafts, information and communications technology and any other activity that may be determined by the CBN.
This, according to him, would enable the bank conserve the huge foreign exchange which had been spent on importing food items.
Olaitan said, “This is a unique programme that seeks to unleash the latent entrepreneurial skills among our teeming youths, harness their energy and passion and ultimately groom them into leading entrepreneurs in various fields.
“The programme was developed to strategically deploy our youthful resources for maximum economic development.
“Successful applicants will also benefit from a robust post-disbursement support that include business development support, mentoring and attachment programmes.”