According to Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to unveil a programme that will support young graduates that operates micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) at highly concessionary interest rate in 2016.
The apex bank Governor made this disclosure in a speech he presented during the opening ceremony of the seventh annual Bankers’ Committee retreat titled: ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for SMEs,’ on December 10, 2015 in Lagos.
While speaking further about the programme, he said it would target one million young graduates that are entrepreneurs. The CBN Governor said the modality for the programme would be unmasked in the next few weeks in a bid to tackle youth unemployment that ravages the country.
The Governor explained also that commercial banks would be needed to support this programme and any bank that fails to support will have its cash with the CBN via Cash Reserve Requirement released to Nigerian youths.
He said, “I am saying if you (the banks) refuse to support, your money that we would have released through the cash reserve requirements (CRR), we will take money and lend it through any channel that will give these young graduates jobs. We all need to think together and agree because there is no need to release the money to you (the banks) and all you do with the money is buy treasury bills. That cannot continue! We need to agitate our minds; we need to think about the best ways to diversify this economy away from oil.
“We need to get more and more people to be employed and we would need the support of the banks to begin to see how we can lower our risk acceptance criteria to give support to our young graduates. These are young people, let us not assume that they will take a loan and not pay. We need to develop a scheme that will work where they take a loan and they pay.