The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has stressed the need for Nigerian universities to focus more on entrepreneurship development in order to tackle rising youth unemployment in the country.
He made the remark in a keynote address at the 35th Conference of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, held on Monday at Kano University of Science and Technology in Wudil.
The CBN Governor, led by Development Finance Deputy Director Dr. Adebowale Idowu, represented, said there was an urgent need for universities to make a paradigm shift in the academic direction of graduates from job search to job creation through entrepreneurial development
“As you may know, an estimated 600,000 graduates from our colleges enter the labor market every year after participating in the NYSC program in search of the already thinned office jobs. A situation that has contributed significantly to rising youth unemployment across the country.
“To meet this trend, there has to be a paradigm shift in our academic orientation of our graduates from job search to job creation through entrepreneurship development. “Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises offer great opportunities to fill these gaps and accelerate economic growth by taking advantage of our dynamic youth population,” said the CBN governor.
According to him, the realignment is also critical to the recovery effort to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on productive sectors of the economy and the aftermath of the country’s dwindling oil revenues.
As part of the effort to achieve this goal, the CBN planned to work with colleges to foster a culture of entrepreneurial development among youth before graduation by providing them with seed capital for their businesses after graduation.
“The proposed partnership will also provide a platform for building digital skills relevant to Nigeria’s broader development goals.
He announced that the CBN is developing an entrepreneurship program for tertiary institutions to refocus, train and fund entrepreneurial ideas among Nigerian graduates.
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