Covenant, CBN to Partner on Entrepreneurship Scheme for Graduates
Nigeria's foremost private University, Covenant, is among the select Universities proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its Tertiary Institutions' Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES).
The Deputy Director, Development and Finance Department, CBN, Dr Olabimtan Adebowale, made this known when he led a two-person delegation of the country's apex bank to a meeting with the management of Covenant University recently.
According to Dr Adebowale, the scheme's goal was to train and finance entrepreneurship ideas of graduates of Nigerian universities, with a great focus on imbuing in the graduates entrepreneurial perspective to going into business. Graduates must be guaranteed by the institutions the students were coming from to be part of the scheme, as successful participants would be issued certificates of completion of training.
Dr Adebowale, who came in company with the Deputy Manager, Development and Finance Department, CBN, Miebaka Nyanabo, said the apex bank has heard about the capacity and capability of Covenant in the area of entrepreneurial development studies. He said the bank was ready to ensure that institutions and the government no longer ignore the demography in focus if there must be peace, prosperity and progress in the society.
"The focus of this scheme is to be directed at the creative, agro-allied and tech industries, with the bank ready to assist viable business ideas to access required funds to get the business underway. Where the capital is on the high side, the bank will, through her allied outlets, take up stakes in some of these business ventures, to help them get to the state of sustainability," the CBN Deputy Director explained.
He said the CBN had been able to get some insurance companies to buy into the scheme to help the new business survive unforeseen eventualities that threaten to set them back or cripple the business in cases of a mishap.
The Director, Covenant University's Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CEDS), Dr Olaleke Ogunnaike, said the University's entrepreneurial centre was aptly positioned to partner with the CBN to deliver on the mandate of TIES. He said its operational framework focused on 20% skill acquisition drive and 80% entrepreneurship undertakings. He noted that the CEDS was modelled to continually help birth entrepreneurs, some of whom had passed through Covenant University and made the necessary impact in their field.
The Dean, College of Management and Social Sciences, Professor Uwaloma Uwuigbe, while commending the CBN for the TIES initiative, said it was a scheme long overdue. He hoped that, with an active partnership between the public and the private sector, it would become a veritable avenue to give back to society and tackle the challenges of unemployment bedevilling Nigeria.
Professor Uwuigbe noted the readiness of the nation's growing young population to seize opportunities, especially those channelled toward supporting and empowering them for social and economic development, as long as there was a well-prepared framework to deliver on an established directive.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun Adebayo, highlighted the role played by the University in making entrepreneurship study synonymous within the education landscape of Nigeria. According to him, Covenant, being a vision-driven University and pioneer initiator of the Entrepreneurial Development Studies (EDS) curriculum in Nigeria, was well-positioned to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to make the TIES scheme a success.
Professor Adebayo said the new scheme was a welcome development. He said Covenant was ready to play her part in conjunction with the CBN to help beneficiaries make the most of the arrangement, just as graduates of Covenant had enjoyed over the years. "Irrespective of the course of study here in Covenant, each of our students are equipped through the EDS curriculum to develop a new skill set and imbibe entrepreneurship with passion," he added.
The Vice-Chancellor said the CEDS remained committed to its founding values of creating new ideas, re-innovating existing ones, and developing the capacity of would-be-entrepreneurs to become successful in their ventures. "To this end, we will look at the CBN's TIES blueprint and make appropriate recommendations where appropriate," he posited.
Also present at the meeting were the Registrar, Dr Oluwasegun Omidiora; Director, Financial Service, Pastor Babatunde Onatola; and Director, Vice-Chancellor's Office, Dr Omotayo Osibanjo.
Covenant University Management with Officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria