Being a farmer himself,it was easy for president Muhamadu Buhari to spot the fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Anchor Borrowers Program has been making waves by having massive impact on the farming sector across the country and by extension helping in lifting up Nigeria’s economy which due to the sharp drop in crude oil price had tanked since the inception of the current administration. President Buhari who used the opportunity of October 1st Independence Day anniversary broadcast to sort of present the mid term report of his stewardship in the past two years , also held aloft the recently launched CBN National Collateral Registry program also known as Collaterals Bank aimed at making credit more accessible to the small scale enterprises, SMEs as another milestone achievement under his watch. President Buhari Through the new scheme , owners of SMEs and a critical mass of micro entrepreneurs who constitute over 90% of the estimated 17 million registered SMEs in Nigeria creating some 32 million jobs would be able to use their movable assets such as plants and equipment, vehicles and even furnitures and fixtures in their businesses as collateral for obtaining loans from banks. . That’s a welcome departure from the past when it was mainly landed properties which are immovable and difficult for SMEs to come by, that were acceptable by financial institutions as collateral. With a critical mass of Nigerians having easier access to credit owing to the existence of the collateral bank, the ensuing frenzy of business activities are guaranteed to buoy up the economy such that it could accelerate the nation’s economic recovery. In that respect, the CBN initiative with Godwin Emefiele as governor , aimed at bolstering financial inclusion for the SMEs and micro enterprises is on point. And the consensus is that it has the ability and capacity to provide the required muscle to engender the recovery of Nigerian economy from the recession that it plunged into a couple of years ago owing to the sharp drop in the international price of crude oil which is Nigeria’s main foreign exchange earner. Another policy that gave CBN the leverage of taking the cake in Mr president’s mid term report is the quest for creating 10,000 jobs in the agriculture sector for unemployed youths in each of the 36 states of the federation through CBN’s development finance initiative. The initiative which is known as Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) is envisioned to create a total of 360,000 jobs nationwide for youths in agriculture value chain. It is common knowledge that unemployment and poverty are like Siamese Twins which are by products of societal challenges such as lack of visionary leadership, insecurity and bad governance that are inimical to progressive social existence. These are the existential issues currently bedeviling Nigeria and which the relevant authorities are currently struggling to address. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, unemployment rate that had skyrocketed to astronomical levels a year ago, has recently dipped. But with youth unemployment still reckoned to be roughly 25% of the jobless , which is in excess of 20 million people who are either unemployed (or underemployed), it is not difficult to figure out why CBN has made job creation for the youths its next focal point. Obviously, its part of its quest to contribute significantly to president Buhari’s arsenal of policy initiatives that would facilitate putting the economy on even keel.
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