Nsukka — ... woos Nigerian youth to embrace CBN initiatives
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has challenged graduating students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN), to explore and take advantage of the present challenges confronting the country to become job creators in the economy.
Emefiele gave the charge last week, while delivering the 47th Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, entitled: "A mindset for Succeeding in Today's Nigeria."
He noted that rising unemployment remained one of the greatest challenges facing the country, warning that failure to galvanise the youths could boomerang against the Nigerian society.
While stressing the need for young Nigerian graduates to change their mind-set on the labour market, Emefiele insisted that despite the many complaints about the country, Nigeria remained a land of limitless opportunities.
He therefore charged the graduating students to strive to be job creators and entrepreneurs rather than being mere job-seekers.
Emefiele, who is also an alumnus of the University, said the CBN, as part of its effort to address the challenge of unemployment on the one hand, and the promotion of entrepreneurship among the youth, had designed and formulated policies and programmes aimed at direct real sector intervention.
He therefore encouraged the students and other Nigerian youths with not more than five years post-service experience to take advantage of the CBN Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP), which the Bank runs in collaboration with banks and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Citing examples of successful entrepreneurs and businesses in Nigeria, and abroad, Emefiele further challenged the graduates to take cognizance of the opportunities in their respective environments, motivate themselves, create innovative ideas and turn them into profitable ventures.
Speaking on current economic developments and policies of the Bank, the CBN Governor recalled that several global shocks that affected the Nigerian economy were amplified due to the country's over-reliance on the oil sector for its foreign exchange earnings and for government finances.
He however disclosed that the Bank embarked on some proactive policy measures such as policy tightening, restriction of forex for imports of 41 non-essential commodities, exchange rate management and development financing in key sectors in order to keep the economy sound.
Citing indicators such as the decline in inflation, improvement in forex supply, accretion to the foreign reserves, and improvement in the World Bank's "doing business indicators," and the significant boost in local production, Emefiele said the Nigerian economy had turned the corner, and the worst days were behind.
Earlier, in is his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, UNN, Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, said the convocation lecture was one of the prestigious public lectures hosted by the University.
He said the privilege of delivering the lecture was usually reserved for men and women, whose achievements will motivate and inspire graduating students and the entire university community to greater achievements.
Ozumba listed some of the projects being embarked by the University, and solicited funding support to accomplish them, as the initiatives would not only increase entrepreneurship and innovation, but would also help curb youth restiveness in Nigeria.
The highpoint of the convocation lecture, which was attended by the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, was the presentation of plaques, and the Lion laptops manufactured by the University to Emefiele as well as a former CBN Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who was the Chairman of the event.