The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has challenged the graduating students of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) to take advantage of the present challenges confronting the country to become job creators in the economy instead of job seekers.
Emefiele stressed the need for young Nigerian graduates to change their mindset on the labour market, adding that in spite of the many complaints about the country, Nigeria remained a land of limitless opportunities.
The CBN Chief Strategist spoke today, Thursday, at the 47th Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, in a lecture entitled: “A mindset for Succeeding in Today’s Nigeria”.
He said that the rising unemployment remained one of the greatest challenges facing the country and that failure by the government to galvanise the youths could boomerang against the Nigerian society.
Emefiele, who is an alumnus of the University, said that the CBN, as part of its effort to address the challenge of unemployment on the one hand and the promotion of entrepreneurship among the youth, had designed and formulated policies and programmes aimed at direct real sector intervention.
He therefore encouraged the graduating students and other Nigerian youth with not more than five years post-service experience to take advantage of the CBN Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP), which the Bank runs in collaboration with banks and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The CBN governor cited examples of successful entrepreneurs and businesses in Nigeria and abroad, asking the graduating students to look around for opportunities in their respective environments, motivate themselves, create innovative ideas and turn their ideas into profitable ventures.
On current economic developments and policies of the Bank, the CBN Governor recalled that several global shocks that affected the Nigerian economy were amplified due to the country’s over-reliance on the oil sector for its foreign exchange revenue and for government finances.
He however said that the Bank embarked on some proactive policy measures such as policy tightening, restriction of forex for imports of 41 non-essential commodities, exchange rate management and development financing in key sectors in order to keep the economy sound.
According to Emefiele, indicators such as the decline in inflation, improvement in forex supply, accretion to the foreign reserves, improvement in the World Bank’s “doing business indicators,” and the significant boost in local production, had turned around the Nigerian economy, adding that the worst days were over.
Earlier, in is his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Professor Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba said the convocation lecture was one of the prestigious of the public lectures hosted by the University hence the privilege of delivering the convocation lecture was usually reserved for men and women whose achievements will motivate and inspire graduating students and the entire university community to greater achievements.
The UNN Vice Chancellor listed some of the projects being embarked on by the University and solicited funding support to accomplish what the University had earmarked for itself. He said the initiatives would not only increase entrepreneurship and innovation, but would also help curb youth restiveness in the country.
Highpoint of the convocation lecture, which was graced by the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, was the presentation of plaques and the Lion laptops manufactured by the University to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele as well as a former Governor of the CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who was the Chairman of the event. [myad]