Richard Ginika Izuora
The Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), has announced plan to spend N150 billion to support youth development programmed in the country.
Announcing this gesture, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele said, “Our preliminary analysis indicates that unemployment particularly amongst the youth was a critical factor behind the unrest.
As a result, CACOVID has committed to create a high impact youth development program that will provide technical and vocational education to over 4 million Nigerian youths over the next 5 years.
Emefiele, speaking on behalf of the Coalition during a media chat said students, will be trained on craftwork, plumbing, masonry , capentry, and other artisanal related skills for which sufficient demand exist in Nigeria .
“Over N150bn is expected to be deployed towards the set up and implementation of the youth development program, which will be available at select training centers across the country .
He said, “Selected students on conclusion of the program will be certified by the appropriate standards board and will be eligible to receive loans to support their entrepreneurial pursuits.”
Emefiele, stated that so far, over N25 billion will be domiciled in a fund to support these entrepreneurial pursuits, which would also include acquisition of related equipment’s to conduct business activities.
The ultimate objective he explained is to provide young Nigerians with employable skills sets that will enable them to live a gainful life, adding, “We believe this initiative can lead to the creation of over 4m jobs over the next five years”.
For the out of school graduates that possess certain Entrepreneural skills, CACOVID will be working with Bankers Committee to complete the Creative center at National Arts Theater area of Lagos in four select areas namely; ICT and software design / development, Fashion, Music and Movies. This project is expected to cost the Bankers Committee over N40 Billion.
Given the impact the unrest had on the conduct of business activities, members of CACOVID has committed to develop a business continuity plan, that will enable businesses and firms to share timely information and resources to forestall physical or cyber-attacks, which could derail the smooth functioning of business activities in the country, he said.
He said details of all the support will be released in due course to Nigerians, adding that these efforts represent some of the essential steps that are important in rebuilding trust and preventing future unrest within our communities.
It would also complement the government’s efforts aimed at creating jobs for our youths and in strengthening the security apparatus in the country. More importantly, it would also prevent the challenges which have emanated from the protest, from affecting the long-term growth prospects for households and businesses in the country.
The Governor stated however, that providing adequate security is not only the task before the government but also that of the private sector.
“Indeed , owners of business premises desire a secure environment to conduct their legitimate businesses. We therefore seize this opportunity to once again , appeal to members of the private sector , who we will be calling on again, to rally round CACOVID to secure not only our businesses but also our country. We also request the private sector to work with to operate under this platform which has been approved by Mr President” he added.