The Central Bank of Nigeria said it has set aside N2.5bn for members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, with good business ideas to actualise their dreams.
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN made this known during an empowerment programme for the corps members at the NYSC camp in Abuja.
He said the N2.5bn would be disbursed to the corps members under the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, YEDP, with the aim of addressing the challenges of youth unemployment in the country.
The CBN is targeting to create one million jobs through the YEDP, which is an initiative of the apex bank launched on March 15 this year by the governor.
Under the YEDP, the apex bank, in collaboration with Heritage Bank Plc, will develop the entrepreneurial capacity of the youth as well as provide each of them with a maximum of N3m to operate a business.
The activities to be covered under the programme are mostly in the agriculture sector including, fish farming, poultry and snail farming, cottage industry, mining and solid minerals.
Emefiele expressed optimism that the initiative would enable the CBN to conserve the huge foreign exchange, which was currently being spent to import food items.
He said each corps member was entitled to N3m, adding that their discharge certificates as well their degree certificates would be used as collateral to secure the loan.
Emefiele said he was optimistic that the corps members would repay the loan as nobody would want to lose his certificate for N3m.
“We do not anticipate that any of them would fails. However, we have as collateral their NYSC certificates as well as their degree certificates. We know that our youths know the importance of their degree certificates as well as their NYSC certificates as collateral for this loan.
“I don’t think that somebody who has a degree certificate or HND certificate to get gainful employment or a gainful life will abandon his certificate or his NYSC discharge certificate just because he wants to take a loan and not pay back.”
Sule Kazaure, Director-General of NYSC, commended the CBN for the initiative and urged the corps members to take advantage of it.