The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said it will support youths in tertiary institutions with grants to help give rise to entrepreneurship and ultimately reduce unemployment.
The CBN disclosed this on Wednesday, in a report, titled ‘Guidelines for the implementation of tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme’.
“Five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas shall be awarded as follows: first place – N150m; second place – N120m; third place – N100m; fourth place – N80m; and fifth place – N50m,” it said.
The apex bank also added that activities to be covered under the scheme would include innovative start-ups and existing businesses owned by graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities in areas such as agribusiness, information technology, creative industry, as well as science and technology.
The CBN said agribusiness would include production, processing, storage and logistics, while information technology would include application/software development, business process outsourcing, robotics and data management.
The creative industry would include entertainment, artwork, publishing, culinary/event management, fashion, photography, beauty/cosmetics; while science and technology would include medical innovation, robotics, ticketing systems, traffic systems, renewable energy, and waste management, says CBN.
According to the report, the interest rate will be five per cent per annum and nine per cent effective from March 1, 2022, or as may be prescribed by the CBN.
The beneficiary must apply on the dedicated online portal and provide all required documentation to support the application, says the CBN.
It noted that priority would be given to innovative entrepreneurial activities with high potential for export, job creation and transformational impact.