By Obinna Unaeze
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the African Community Bridge Foundation (ACBF) youth entrepreneurship skills acquisition programme for North Central said that 2, 000 youth in Niger have benefited from the scheme.
Prof. Casmiar Obialom, the Programme Director for North Central zone, made this known at the inauguration of the 1st Young Entrepreneurs Fair on Tuesday in Minna.
“The CBN, ACBF and Niger state government recently trained 2,000 youth from the state in various entrepreneurship skills to make them self reliant.
‘’In addition, Niger state government has given approval for the training of another round of 3,150 youths in empowerment and employment programme,’’ he said.
Obialom said that the three month training programme was sponsored by the CBN, implemented by ACBF and facilitated by the Niger Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Development.
The Programme Director explained that the CBN set aside N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) to close the huge financial gap hindering the development of MSME in the country.
He said that the state government subsidised the training by providing accommodation, feeding and payment of N10,000 monthly allowances per student during the training.
Obialom also said that the state government provided N100,000 starter packs to enable each graduate to set up a business.
He said that the programmes aim at bringing the graduates and the trainees together to showcase their products and to interact with successful entrepreneurs and government agencies for more productivity and service improvement.
Also speaking, Gov. Sani Bello of Niger, said that the programme would change the mindset of youth in the state towards self reliance for confronting the challenges of recession.
“Self reliance is the answer to self determination in Nigeria, because we have the human and material resources,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fair tagged “Promoting Indigenous Technology through Entrepreneurship’’ commenced on Nov. 21st and would wind up on Nov. 28.