Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele has called on the Nigerian universities to focus more on entrepreneurship development rather than continue with the traditional method of producing half-baked graduates.
He made the call at the 35th Conference of Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) which held at the Conference Hall of the Kano State University of Science and Technology Wudil, yesterday.
According to the governor of the apex bank an estimated 600,000 graduates from our tertiary institutions enter the labour market annually, after participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, seeking the already thinned out white collar jobs.
To address this trend, he said, there has been calls for a paradigm shift in our academic orientation of graduating students from job seeking to job creation through entrepreneurship development.
Emefiele said this re-orientation is also critical to the recovery efforts to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the productive sectors of the economy.
The CBN governor said the fallouts from the dwindling oil revenues accruable to the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) portend great opportunities for addressing these gaps and accelerating the economic growth, leveraging our vibrant youth population.
In furtherance of this objective, the CBN proposes to partner with tertiary institutions to foster a culture of entrepreneurial development among the youths prior to graduation, by supporting them with start-up capital for their enterprises upon graduation.
The proposed partnership will also provide a platform for building digital skills that are relevant to Nigeria’s broader developmental goals.
He said the CBN is developing a Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) to re-orientate, train and finance entrepreneurship ideas among our graduates.
He said the scheme is designed to support the development of entrepreneurial mindsets and culture through the introduction of a platform that provides seamless access to affordable finance to graduates through innovative channels for participation.
“The proposed Scheme will be targeted at Graduates of Tertiary Institutions, including universities, polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges) and will be focused on achieving three themes; Re-orient Graduates towards entrepreneurship; promote entrepreneurship trainings and skill acquisition; facilitate access to finance for innovative business ideas,” he said.
The CBN governor posited that representatives from the CBN would be visiting some of our tertiary institutions across the country to harness ideas, discuss the implementation dynamics and share preliminary considerations of the proposed scheme.
The CBN governor said that he count on the support of the participants to support the development of this laudable initiative targeted at re-defining the contribution of our teeming graduates to the sustainable economic growth and development of our beloved nation.