The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has urged youths in the country to embrace entrepreneurship as a strategic step towards self-fulfillment and to mitigate the growing rate of unemployment with its attendant negative socio-economic implications for the country.
Emefiele, who gave the charge in his the 47th Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, titled “A mindset for Succeeding in Today’s Nigeria”, expressed serious concern about the nation’s unemployment trend, describing it as one of the biggest challenges undermining efforts at achieving sustainable development.
He warned that failure to galvanize the youths for productive engagements could worsen further the social problems, especially crimes, being witnessed now in the country.
While stressing the need for young Nigerian graduates to re-orientate their mindset about the unemployment rate, the apex bank governor insisted that, despite the challenges in the country, it still held great opportunities for discerning minds in terms of productivity and value addition in various sectors.
The seasoned banker, who is also an alumnus of the University, advised the graduating students to strive to be job creators and entrepreneurs rather than being mere job-seekers.
According to him, as part of its efforts to address the challenge of unemployment on the one hand and the promotion of entrepreneurship among the youths, the CBN had designed and formulated policies and programmes aimed at direct real sector intervention.
Specifically, he charged the graduating students and youths nationwide with not more than five years post-service experience to take advantage of the opportunities in the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP), initiated by the apex bank in collaboration with banks and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
On the current economic developments and policies of the Bank, Emefiele explained that the impact of recent global economic shocks would have had minimal impact on the nation’s economy but for the country’s prolonged over-reliance on the oil sector for foreign exchange and other revenues for public finance at all tiers of government.
He explained further that the CBN had been responding to emerging developments in the global economic system by adopting proactive monetary policy measures to ensure fiscal and monetary stability.
Emefiele listed some of the bank’s policy measures in recent times to include, among others, monetary 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.
He pointed out the various measures had helped the economic development agenda of government in diverse ways such as the gradual decline in inflation rate, improvement in forex supply, accretion in foreign reserves, improvement in the country’s World Bank’s “doing business indicators,” and enhanced productivity in the real and other sectors of the economy.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, said the convocation lecture was usually reserved for men and women whose achievements will motivate and inspire graduating students and the entire university community to greater achievements.