Task Nigerians not to panic over reported looming recession
*Say Emefiele’s economic formula is a key unifier of the country
*It taps into the comparative advantage of various segments of the country, they add
By Joseph Erunke
MAJOR ethnic youth groups in the country have applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s economic interventions, saying the interventions by the Godwin Emefiele-led CBN have brought succour to millions of youths in all parts of the federation.
The development was sequel to the reported slipping of Nigeria into a second recession, a situation that has caused concerns in many quarters in the country.
Leaders of the ethnic youth groups, who addressed a press conference in Abuja, after a two-day roundtable on the theme: “Review of CBN Economic Interventions And Its Impact on Young People “, in the nation’s capital city, insisted that: “With these interventions, many young people have been pulled out of idleness, have become gainfully engaged and this has, in turn, reduced crime and criminality, created jobs and expanded businesses.”
Mr Meliga Godwin, President of Middle Belt Youth Vanguard, who read the text of the press conference on behalf of other ethnic youth groups that included Arewa Consultative Youth Movement, Oduduwa Youth Assembly, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Youth Movement and the South-South Youth Council, thanked the CBN governor for rolling out the interventions they simply described as “economic formula that has proved to be both sustainable and workable.”
The ethnic youth leaders who explained that their gathering in Abuja was to review the impact of CBN economic polices on Nigerian youths, unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the bank’s policies which they noted,” have empowered young Nigerians and created the foundation for a more accelerated economic revolution in Nigeria and immediate exit of Nigeria from recession.”
While expressing concerns over the news that the country has yet slipped into another recession, the ethnic groups expressed optimism that just as Nigeria exited the bad economic situation in good time the last time it experienced it, “Nigeria will exit this second wave of recession quickly as the Emefiele economic formula kicks in.”
“This COVID-19 induced recession, which is not just a Nigerian but a global phenomenon, will pass over us and our country shall return to the path of prosperity,” the text read.
The text released to newsmen reads in part: “For the past two days, we have bent our backs while brainstorming on the review of the CBN economic intervention and its impact on young people in Nigeria.
“Nigerians will recall that the National Bureau of Statistics monthly releases figures and data which measure our economy. These figures have not been very favourable in recent times.
“Also, the global poverty index figures have not been as beautiful as young people in Nigeria would have wanted it. These indices coupled with the combined negative impact of the COVID-19 lockdown and the #EndSARS protests which threatened the very fabrics of our national security were the motivation for convening this 2-day roundtable to analyze the role, functions, activities and interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria and juxtapose them with the impact on young people in Nigeria.
“From available facts, the Central Bank of Nigeria is currently involved in several economic and unity interventions worth several hundreds of billions of Naira all across the country. These interventions include; The Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP), N75 billion Naira Nigeria Youth investment Funds, CBN funding of NIRSAL MFB with N12.5bn seed capital, N50 billion CBN Covid-19 intervention fund for SMEs, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF), Agricultural Credit Support Scheme (ACSS), Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), Small & Medium Enterprises Equity Investment Scheme (SMEEIS), BOI/CBN Intervention Fund, CBN COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), CBN AGMEIS, CBN Real Sector Support Financing (RSSF), CBN Non-Oil Export Simulation Scheme (NESF), CBN Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP), CBN Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), CBN Maize Aggregation Scheme (MAS), CBN Health Care Intervention Scheme to mention but a few.
“A thorough analysis also showed that these schemes and intervention funds are available to thousands of young people who do not need a recommendation or any letters from any person in high offices to get access. These interventions can also be described as the most robust, expansive and impactful interventions in the history of Nigeria central bank and worthy of commendation.
“Further study shows that with these interventions, many young people have been pulled out of idleness, have become gainfully engaged and this has in turn reduced crime and criminality, created jobs and expanded businesses. This is the crux of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele economic formula. It is a formula that has proved to be both sustainable and workable hence very commendable.
“During the roundtable, the question “Does Emefiele’s efforts deserve the commendation or condemnation of young Nigerians?” was answered in categorical and unequivocal terms. The policies were x-rayed, some of us here are beneficiaries and in the final analysis, we all resoundingly applauded the CBN economic interventions.
“These various interventions largely targeted at young people in various sectors of the economy including Agriculture, Entertainment, Health, Entrepreneurship etc are accessible without the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks identifiable with previous government interventionist initiatives.
” We hereby convey to you that the Ethnic Youth Leaders Economic and Unity declaration Roundtable found that the Emefiele Economic formula is a key unifier of the country as it taps into the comparative advantage of various segments of the country which are available to all parts of the country without any segment feeling left out.
” It has also engendered peace, economic growth and reduced crime and criminality. These interventions helped a lot of Nigerian entrepreneurs to withstand and overcome the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19. Who knows what would have become of many young people if the cushion from these interventions were not available.
“The Anchor Borrowers Programme has enabled smallholder farmers who are in particular young persons to get value for their produce as they have a ready market to buy all their produce for processing. Also, the repayment of the grants and loans is directly from the product which is usually higher than those of the ordinary farmers as the compulsory training for all participating farmers enables them to produce more.
“The Creative Industry Financing Initiative provides finance in four principal areas including Fashion, Information Technology, Movie (production and distribution) and Music. Loans ranging from N3 million to N500 million and it is accessible from any commercial bank at a single-digit interest rate with a repayment time of up to 10 years. In support of entrepreneurship, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund was established by the Bank with 60% dedicated for women.
“Following the intensive discussions and extensive consultations by the Ethnic Youth Leaders in Nigeria, in recognition of the outstanding performance of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and in appreciation of the amazing impact of the economic intervention programmes of the apex bank that we the Nigerian Ethnic Youth Leaders unanimously pass a vote of resounding confidence on the Governor of the Central Bank Mr Godwin Emefiele.
“The performance of the bank has earned it a seat at the high table of the most outstanding public institution in Nigeria, particularly in this post-COVID-19 economy. The Bank had been visionary especially in the area of strengthening our commercial banks to withstand global economic shocks, proactive in initiating and coordinating the Coalition Against COVID 19 (CACOVID), which helped vulnerable Nigerians to get access to palliatives and other basic materials and health workers to get access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and essential drugs during the worst days of the COVID-19 lockdown. This Coalition mobilized over N27 Billion and all participating organizations are happy with the transparent and accountable handling of the money by the Central Bank.
“While we were all gathered for this roundtable, our attention was drawn to the news that the country has yet again slipped into another recession. The last time, we exited in good time. We are again hopeful that Nigeria will exit this second wave of recession quickly as the Emefiele economic formula kicks in. This COVID-19 induced recession, which is not just a Nigerian but a global phenomenon, will pass over us and our country shall return to the path of prosperity.
” What we all owe the bank is to support and encourage it now that it is doing very well and also as we go inform people from our various communities even when leave here that there are billions of Naira still waiting to be accessed by citizens particularly women and young people that can turn around their fortunes, lift them above the poverty line, reduce crime and criminality in the society and promote peace, law and order.
“We thank the management and staff of the bank for their excellent service, we most especially also thank the Governor of the Central Bank for the several impactful economic interventions which had aided hundreds of thousands and millions of young Nigerians.”