The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has challenged Nigerian tertiary institutions to ensure effective collaboration with industry players in key sectors of the economy, in the training of relevant manpower to minimize mismatches between the skills required by firms and the educational qualifications of Nigerian graduates.
Emefiele disclosed this while delivering the 51st Convocation Lecture of the University of Lagos, Lagos, on Monday, 5 July 2021, Speaking on the topic: “National Development and Knowledge Economy in the Digital Age: Leapfrogging SMEs in the 21st Century,”
Speaking on the role of the CBN in the development of SMEs in Nigeria, the Governor reiterated that the Bank had rolled out massive developmental interventions in some critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, especially in agriculture, manufacturing and SMEs.
He said attention had also been paid to advancing knowledge and innovation through various initiatives targeted at promoting youth’s entrepreneurship, research and development.
Emefiele, who disclosed that the CBN had also prioritized financial inclusion as a deliberate strategy to reduce the percentage of adults excluded from financial services, urged the graduating students to be part of the solution to a greater Nigeria.
According to him, “…despite the hues, cries and complaints about this country, this remains the land of indescribable opportunities, the land where finding a simple solution to a common problem can lead to unimaginable financial prosperity.”
Congratulating the graduating students, Emefiele urged them to take advantage of some of the Bank’s directly aimed at supporting SMEs such as the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS); Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF); Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP); Agri-business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS); Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI); Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) and the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF).