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CBN introduces N500m grant for graduates, undergraduates

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it will support youths in tertiary institutions with grants to promote entrepreneurship and reduce unemployment.

The apex bank announced this in a report titled ‘Guidelines for the implementation of tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme,’ which was released on Wednesday.

According to the bank, “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.”

CBN said 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.

According to the apex bank, agribusiness would include production, processing, storage and logistics, while information technology would include application/software development, business process outsourcing, robotics and data management.

It said 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.

The bank also disclosed that 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 it, while a beneficiary must apply on the dedicated online portal and provide all requisite documentation to support the application, the CBN said.

It noted that priority would be given to innovative entrepreneurial activities with high potential for export, job creation and transformational impact.

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