The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has pledged the Bank’s readiness to increase its development finance interventions to further support start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
While delivering the 51st Convocation Lecture of the University of Lagos, on Monday, 5 July 2021, noting that increased access to finance for start-ups and SMEs was highly essential for the nation’s economy to grow.
Speaking on the topic: “National Development and Knowledge Economy in the Digital Age: Leapfrogging SMEs in the 21st Century,” he stressed that special consideration should be given to the strengthening of physical and ICT infrastructure to enable SMEs perform more efficiently and become globally competitive.
Mr. Emefiele challenged Nigerian tertiary institutions to ensure effective collaboration with industry players in key sectors of our economy, in the training of relevant manpower to minimize mismatches between the skills required by firms and the educational qualifications of Nigerian graduates.
He said attention had also been paid to advancing knowledge and innovation through various initiatives targeted at promoting youth’s entrepreneurship, research and development.
Congratulating the graduating students, Emefiele urged them to take advantage of some of the Bank’s intervention programs.
Emefiele, who disclosed that the CBN had also prioritized financial inclusion as a deliberate strategy to reduce the percentage of adults excluded from financial services, urged the graduating students to be part of the solution to a greater Nigeria.
According to him, “…despite the hues, cries and complaints about this country, this remains the land of indescribable opportunities, the land where finding a simple solution to a common problem can lead to unimaginable financial prosperity.”