By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 (NYCC) has partnered the Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce to boost access to finance from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for over 10 million youths in the country.
National Chairman of the youth compact, Malam Gambo Haruna, made the disclosure during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the training of 10 million youths, on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the MoU was signed between the Youth Compact and the Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce with a view to facilitate access to the CBN Loan Entrepreneurship Training and Certification.
Haruna expressed optimism that the partnership would boost access to finance for over 10 million Nigerian youths to establish functional enterprises and create over 30 million jobs in the next two years.
According to him, a delegation of the Nigerian youth will be meeting with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria within the next seven days, to develop modalities to get the project going.
Haruna explained that the partnership was strategic and timely, considering the urgency for economic recovery created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the proposed partnership would complement efforts of the government to save the economy.
The youth leader expressed hope that the partnership would stimulate MSMEs growth beyond the CÓVID-19 pandemic, create millions of jobs and contribute to non-oil revenue in the country.
Haruna said that over 50 per cent of the 200 million Nigerian population was made up of young people.
According to him, every year, over 1.8 million young people graduate from tertiary institutions.
He, however, said only 30 per cent would find some kind of employment, thereby leaving over 1.2 million graduates without jobs.
“Compound that in a generation and you have over 10 million youth unemployed, which is bigger than the population of Demark and Finland combined.
” These are people with creative energies and aspirations to impact humanity positively.
” It is sad, however, that these aspirations are often cut short due to a myriad of problems from the cradle to adulthood.
” The Nigeria youth unemployment rate is projected to trend around 44 per cent in 2021.
” The youth situation is worsened by the looming global recession as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic that has infected over 10 million people globally.”
Haruna advised government to put deliberate measures to reverse the ugly trends and cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the Nigerian youth, whose fate already hangs in the balance.
He said the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) set up by CBN to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 was laudable.
” Feedback from the field, however, shows that a critical mass of youth-led enterprises have not been able to access the facility due to set conditions,” he said.
The youth leader advised the government to create a special fund that would serve the needs of her burgeoning youth population.
” These needs are unique in all ramifications. There is no questioning the fact that these intervention measures have to be coordinated and driven by the organised private sector to achieve the desired impact.
” We are at the threshold of history and the situation beckons on us to act. Surely, posterity will judge the actions we take today to build a more economically viable Nigeria,” he said.