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CBN expresses support to SMEs

18 March 2013, 14:03

Awka - The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday reiterated its support to small scale businesses in the country by making investable funds easily available to entrepreneurs.

Azubuike Okorie,  the Branch Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Awka, said this at the graduation ceremony of Industrial Training Fund (ITF) youths training in Awka.

Okorie said that what the economy required now was activities that would add value to the gross domestic product, noting that everybody could not be in the financial sector.

He said the CBN was impressed by the activities of  ITF in training youths on relevant skills, adding that CBN  would complement the efforts.

“This training is one of those monumental efforts of the Federal Government to spur economic viability of the people which is worthy of commendation.

“It is important that people acquire skill which will empower them to earn income, create jobs and lots of other opportunity, because everybody cannot be on Broad Street.

``Some people have to possess skills which those on the Broad Street will demand.

‘The mechanics, tillers and welders like we are having here today are real value creators which is most beneficial to the economy.

“The CBN under the financial inclusion strategy will make investable funds available at the grass roots.

“What it means is that artisans can go to the banks and obtain loans to execute their business at low interest rates”, Okorie said.

Mrs Lynda Egbonu, the ITF Area Manager, said the 1000 youths in Anambra were trained in tiling and welding within a period of three months.

Egbonu said this was the first time the fund was involved in direct training, saying that the youths were also trained in entrepreneurial skills to sharpen their management competence.

“The aim is to give them skills which they can use for their economic well being, as well as reduce unemployment in the country.

“They mastered the trade they learnt; we exposed them to practical and I am happy because these graduates will show class anywhere and anytime”, she said.

Egbonu urged Nigerians to patronise the trainees as a way of complementing the efforts of the fund.

Mr Austen Nwagbata, one of the beneficiaries, who trained in tiling, said he was glad to have gained the knowledge and he could now face the larger world with confidence.

Nwagbata appealed to ITF with its partners to help them with take-off grant and equipment to enable them start-off.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of the state government, Bank of Industry, SMEDAN, civil society organisations were present at the event.


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