As part of its contribution towards the development of entrepreneurs in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced a three-day training programme for stream one applicants of its Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (YEDP) in the South-west zone.
The central bank explained that the event, which took place in Lagos was one of the activities scheduled to enhance the quality of applications to be funded under the entrepreneurship programme. It said the programme was developed to strategically deploy youthful resources for maximum economic development.
Delivering the welcome address, Director, Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Mudashiru Olaitan, said the programme, which was aimed at tackling the challenge of youth unemployment in the country, started about three months ago.
Olaitan who was represented by the Head, Development Finance office, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Adebisi Adedeji, said following the opening of the portal after the launch, over 4,000 applicants were received by Heritage Bank Plc, within two months of the first phase, saying that, 1,547 successful applications were selected after the initial screening and that the number constituted the applicants that were benefitting from the capacity building programme nationwide.
He said applicants from other states would be trained from 29th June to 1st July, 2016, adding that as at 15th March,2016 , about 9000 entries were recorded on the portal in various stages of the application process.
“I am delighted to welcome you all to this capacity building programme, which is one of the activities scheduled to enhance the quality of applications to be funded under the YEDP,”Olaitan said.
Speaking further, the he said: “This 3-day capacity building programme will expose participants to the rudiments of entrepreneurship and enhance their ability to develop bankable business proposals to qualify for funding. The faculty members were specially selected for their experience and expertise.
“Successful applicants will also benefit from a robust post-disbursement support that includes; peer networking, business development support (BDS), mentoring and attachment programmes where applicable.”
While urging the trainees to make judicious use of the opportunity before them, Olaitan said “I urge you all to seize this opportunity and be innovative in your strive to deliver bankable and realistic bankable business proposal that will avail you the funding opportunity towards actualising your dreams”.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Africa Leadership Forum, Mr Olumide Ajayi, one of the trainers, gave more insight into the programme.
“This programme is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, NYSC and Heritage Bank to try and help young graduates to begin to pick entrepreneurial skills that can help them to set up their own businesses and also become employers of labour instead of them looking for employment.
It’s all part of job creation scheme of the presentadministration to try and give space and opportunity for young people to begin to exercise their innate ambitions and dreams. Because we know that these young people are very talented and very innovative. So what this programme is set out to do is to give them space to be able to demonstrate also to help the economy,” Ajayi said.