The rising level of poverty, low school enrolment and decreasing life expectancy is a source of worry to the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamidi.
Sanusi spoke at the commissioning of Entrepreneur Development Center, EDC for North central zone in Makurdi yesterday.
He regretted that the unemployment rate in Nigeria has shot up to 23% in 2012 as against 8.2% in 1999.
He explained that the EDC initiative commenced in 2008 with pilot projects in Onitsha, Anambra State, Kano and Lagos States, intimating that over 41,441 persons have been trained and over 98, 000 jobs created.
The CBN boss further said that the project is a platform for State governments as well as the private sector to assist the youths indentify and engage in productive ventures, adding that to enhances efficiency, CBN engages private consultants to monitor the scheme.
He announced that the sum of N20 billion credit has been earmarked for the program with 60% allocated to women and urged governors of the North central states to enlighten and provide financial support to their people to engage in the program.
“The scheme will provide jobs and wealth creation as well as youth restiveness”, Sanusi said.
Governor Gabriel Suswam pledged that his government will provide funding for the program even as he disclosed that soon, it would disburse another N1 billion in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, BOI to small and medium scale enterprise which would also cater for School graduates.
Other governors of the North central States as well as Nollywood actors and actresses including pop artiste Innocent Idibia, TUFAC endorsed the EDC program.