The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has stressed the need for Nigerian universities to focus more on entrepreneurship development so as to address the surging youths unemployment in the country.
He made the remark in a keynote address at the 35th Conference of Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities held at Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil on Monday.
The CBN Governor, who was represented by Deputy Director, Development Finance Department, Dr. Adebowale Idowu, said it was urgent for the universities to have a paradigm shift in the academic orientation of graduating students from job seeking to job creation through entrepreneurship development
“As you may be aware, an estimated 600,000 graduate from our tertiary institutions enter the labour market annually, after participating in the NYSC programme, seeking the already thinned out white-collar jobs. A situation that has contributed significantly to the rising youth unemployment across the country.
“To address this trend, there has to be a paradigm shift in our academic orientation of our graduating students from job seeking to job creation through entrepreneurship development. “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises portend great opportunities for addressing these gaps and accelerating the economic growth, leveraging our vibrant youth population,” the CBN Governor said.
According to him, the 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 and the fallouts from the dwindling oil revenues accruable to the country.
He said as part of effort to achieve this objective, the CBN planed 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 disclosed that the CBN was developing a Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme to re-orientate, train and finance entrepreneurship ideas among Nigerian graduates.