Sanusi laments worsening unemployment situation

The  Governor   of  the Central  Bank  of  Nigeria, Mr. Sanusi Lamido, on Monday said the current rate of unemployment in the country was worrisome.

Sanusi said this in Calabar at the inauguration of the CBN South-South Entrepreneurship Development Centre in collaboration with the Cross River State Government.

He said the high unemployment rate was adversely affecting the economic development of the country, adding that this had posed a serious developmental challenge to the nation.

He said, “The 2012 general household survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that 23.9 per cent of the adult working population in Nigeria is unemployed.

“More worrisome is the fact that the unemployment rate has exhibited a worsening trend, rising from 8.2 per cent in 1999 to 23.9 per cent in 2011.”

The CBN governor said the rate of unemployment in Cross River was also increasing astronomically from 7.9 per cent in 2002 to 18.2 per cent in 2011.

“This is obviously not only having significant effect on the psychology of the individuals concerned but have a destabilising impact on the wider society,” he said.

Sanusi said the bank, over the years, had partnered with governments at all levels and various stakeholders to initiate policies and schemes that would help youths in the country.

According to him, 41,828 entrepreneurs were trained under the CBN-EDC programme between 2008 and 2013, while  13,124 jobs were created.

He said out of this number, 1,743 had been linked with financial institutions from which they obtained loans amounting to N227.84m to start and expand their businesses.

He added that due to the success recorded in the first phase of the project, the CBN was in the processes of putting together the second phase of the programmes for the South-East, North-West and South-West zones.

Sanusi enjoined the governments of the South-South states to take advantage of the programmes to advance the economic potential of the youth.

In his speech, Governor Liyel Imoke commended CBN for choosing to locate the EDC for the South-South zone in Calabar after a rigorous bidding exercise.

Imoke said Calabar had become not only a tourist destination, but also an entrepreneurial destination of Nigeria, adding that the centre would complement the efforts of the state in its economic empowerment drive.

“We, in Cross River are pleased to emerge as the centre for this EDC after a rigorous bidding process,” he said.

The governor pledged his total commitment to the centre and hoped that it would be the best in the country.

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