The Northern Emancipation Network, NEN, has described the Central Bank of Nigeria’s, CBN, Anchor Borrowers Programme and other youth empowerment schemes as well-thought out and timely.
Speaking at a northern youth consultative meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, the NEN coordinator, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said the programme was the first of its kind which is aimed at creating employment and boosting agricultural production for food security in Nigeria by giving financial support to youths and other small scale farmers.
The Coordinator praised the federal government and the CBN for the initiative, hoping that youth in the region would make use of the opportunity to be self-employed and help in diversifying the nation’s economy.
“At our recent interaction with the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, he assured us that the Bank would continue its intervention schemes towards making agriculture the bedrock of genuine economic growth in Nigeria.
“We are impressed by the CBN Governor’s highlight of successes attained with the pilot project in some states which underscores the fact that local production of rice, wheat and grains remain attainable with provision of essential farm inputs.
“We strongly support the stance of the CBN that, given the appropriate incentive and support, Nigerian farmers can fill whatever gaps exist between the demand and supply of agricultural products such as rice, wheat, cotton and palm produce and call on our people to embrace these laudable initiatives, ” Suleiman observed.
He also commended the CBN’s initiative to give three million naira each to empower eligible youths under the Youth Initiative Empowerment Development Programme (YIEDP), which was open to youths who are either serving in the National Youth Service Corps or those who have not spent more than five years post NYSC service.
“We are pleased to inform you that we have been sufficiently informed by the CBN that all these programmes will be an equal opportunity programme across gender and geo-political zones with a robust operational framework to deliver a bias-free per-qualification and selection process,” he said.
He encouraged youth in the region to embrace these laudable programmes and to support the present government’s efforts to diversify Nigerian economy.