The Director, Corporate Communications Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Isaac Okorafor, Thursday said a total of 1,132,260 jobs along the various agricultural value chains had so far been created and capacity utilisation of the agroaliied companies have also been increased.
Speaking during the “CBN Special Day” at the 2019 Abuja International Trade Fair, Okorafor said, “Aware of the role of the youth group in the overall development of the economy, the Bank, in 2016, launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) to facilitate an improved access to finance by youths in order to develop their entrepreneurial skills; stimulate job creation through the development of SMEs among youths; harness the entrepreneurial capacity of youths; and increase the contribution of the non-oil sector to GDP.”
Okorafor, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mrs Veronica Aqua, stated that this years’ theme: “Remodeling SMEs Financing: Options and Solutions” largely captures the focus and deliberate efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) towards stimulating economic growth through backward integration and expansion of small and medium enterprises, which are the engine of growth particularly in emerging economies such as ours.
“It is at the heart of what the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele is committed to, by consolidating on the achievements of his first tenure to catalyze the development of small and medium enterprises for sustainable growth. As part of its developmental functions, the Bank over the years, has continued its interventions in critical sectors of the economy especially in Agriculture, Power, Aviation, Health and Creative industry to kick-start robust economic growth and development of the country.”
Okorafor said, currently, the Bank has 29 intervention programmes targeted at various stakeholder groups such as farmers, women, youth, small and medium enterprises. Some of these interventions, which had contributed significantly in driving Nigeria’s economic growth and development include the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) designed to channel low interest funds to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector to enhance access by entrepreneurs, especially women and people living with disability (PWDs).
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, said the chamber now operates through four Centres.