By Emeka Mamah, Emma Ujah, Chidi Nkwopara, Anayo Okoli & Dennis Agbo
OWERRI—South East governors have been accused of distancing their administrations from entrepreneurship programmes initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.From right, Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi); Rochas Okorocha (Imo); and Willie Obiano (Anambra) during a meeting of the South East Governors Forum
The Programme Director, South East Entrepreneurship Development Centre, SEEDC, Dr. Osita Aniemeka, disclosed this yesterday, when the establishment signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iwuanyanwu Foundation in Owerri.
“The South East governors have not only refused to see the import of this CBN initiative, but have also distanced their administrations from the programme”, Aniemeka said.
It was the considered view of the Programme Director that “except the small and medium scale enterprises are developed and sustained, the nation’s quest to reduce unemployment may remain a mirage”.
He commended the facilitator of Iwuanyanwu Foundation, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, for giving employment over the years, to several Nigerians.
“You are again making history today (yesterday), because we are not just going to reach other areas through your office, but succour will come the way of the unemployed soonest”, Aniemeka said.
Welcoming the CBN team earlier, Chief Iwuanyanwu expressed sadness at the way some nationals held in Libya, were reportedly sold like goats or mindlessly killed like rams.
‘Imo ready to reduce unemployment’
But reacting yesterday to claims by CBN, the Imo State Government said it is very prepared to partner with anybody, group of persons or establishments towards the reduction of youth unemployment in the state.
The Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to Imo State Governor, Mr. Samuel Onwuemeodo, disclosed government’s position on the allegation levelled by CBN that South East governments have refused to key into it’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme.
“Imo State Government is very prepared to partner with any person, group of persons or establishments, towards the eradication of unemployment in the state”, Onwuemeodo said.
When reminded that the CBN could not have been playing politics with such a serious matter, the CPS said “it depends on where they are coming from”.
Continuing, the CPS affirmed that government would unarguably jump at any such move by CBN.
In a related development, Enugu state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Joseph Udedi, yesterday carpeted the CBN for including the state as one lacking in youths empowerment programmes.
Also yesterday, Abia State Government said it keyed maximally into all the youth empowerment programme initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, saying that it has at present enrolled over 30,000 youths in the various programmes when others are enrolling 3000.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Obinna Oriaku said the state is doing well in the CBN youth empowerment programmes and other Federal Government initiated empowerment programmes.
“We are up there when it comes to embracing CBN’s youth empowerment programmes”, Oriaku said.
Also reacting to the allegation, the Chief Press Secretary to Ebonyi State Governor, Sir Emmanuel Uzor stated that the State had already keyed into the agricultural policies of the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by participating in the Anchor Borrowers programme of the Bank.
”That was why former President Olusegun Obasanjofs Zero Hunger Team visited the state. We have made request for dams and irrigation which is part of the South East Entrepreneurship Development Centre programme to create 10,000 jobs through agriculture.”
“Again, the ITF is training 300 youths in Enugu state on three months vocation after which the state government will give them starter packs to take off such as in wielding and other skills, just to mention a few of the programes”