CBN, varsities explore fresh partnership on entrepreneurship, digital economy
In a bid to meaningfully engage the Nigerian youths, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is seeking fresh collaboration with the nation’s universities to develop entrepreneurship programmes for the younger generation.
Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this, yesterday, while delivering the 51st Convocation Lecture of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on National Development And Knowledge Economy In The Digital Age: Leapfrogging SMEs Into The Century.
He assured that the bank would write management of the universities in the next few months on how the CBN could support the institutions to create research and training programmes to make aimed at making the Nigerian youths self-employed when they graduate.
He said agriculture held huge potential to unlock mass employment and transform the country’s economy, adding that achieving food security was a major target.
Emefiele added that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would need to fully harness the benefits of a knowledge-based and digital economy to contribute maximally to economic growth and inclusive development.
“Today, the emergence of digital platforms, such as Amazon and Alibaba, has provided SMEs the ability to expand their operations by enabling them to sell and deliver their products to customers outside their immediate environment.
“A digitised and knowledge-based economy can accelerate the growth and development of SMEs, as well as create new opportunities to strengthen productivity, especially in the service industry.”
“In response and in collaboration with key financial institutions, the CBN has deployed several measures aimed at improving access to finance for SMEs to enable greater expansion of their operations.
Some of the activities include enabling SMEs to leverage their movable assets to obtain capital from financial institutions, and development of credit reporting agencies, which would encourage SMEs to maintain good credit ratings in order to obtain access to credit at a relatively lower cost from financial institutions,” he said.
An alumnus of UNILAG and chairman of the Convocation Lecture, Tunde Bakare, said no value-adding ideas should be allowed to die for lack of funds.
Using his penury to progress story, he charged the graduating students to aspire for greatness against all odds, adding: “It is time the government provided uninterrupted power supply to stimulate entrepreneurship” and enjoined relevant authorities to embrace smart technology to unlock economic potential.
Also speaking, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said entrepreneurship was crucial to UNILAG’s vision, which informed its dream of producing 5,000 entrepreneurs yearly, saying that its entrepreneurship centre was developed in line with its vision.