|Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi|
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will commence the process of putting together phase two of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) for the South-East, North-West and South-West zones.
Speaking at the launch of the South-South zone EDC in Calabar, the Governor of the CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the first phase of the EDC project which was kicked off in 2008 and is spread across three geo-political zones, was concluded in April this year, paving way for the commencement of the second phase.
The three EDC locations namely; Onitsha (South-East), Kano (North-West), and Lagos (South-West), in the last five years according to Sanusi trained a total of 41,828 persons, counseled 94,259 entrepreneurs and have directly led to the creation of 13,124 jobs. Furthermore, he said a total of 1,743 trainees were linked to financial institutions from which they obtained loans amounting to N227.84 million to start or expand their businesses.
As part of efforts to ensure the sustainability of the centers, the CBN governor said the “management of the bank has extended the tenure of the first phase CBN-EDCs by an additional three years to enable the host State Governments in the aforementioned zones key in and participate actively in the enhanced EDC model.”
The CBN governor explained that in its bid to support efforts to reverse development challenges in the country, “the Central Bank of Nigeria has over the years, continued to partner with Government at all levels and some stakeholders to initiate policies, programmes and schemes that will impact the lives of youth in the country.”
Sanusi lamented that as a nation, Nigeria is confronted with a wide range of developmental challenges as the 2012 general household survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics, revealed that 23.9 per cent of the adult working population is unemployed.
“More worrisome is the fact that the unemployment rate has exhibited a worsening trend, rising from 8.2 per cent in 1999 to the 23.9 per cent in 2011. In Cross River State specifically, the rate increased from 7.9 per cent in 2002 to 18.2 per cent in 2011”, he stated.Source: Leadership