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Graduating students of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai have been advised to use their entrepreneurship skills to be self reliance.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Abu Kasim Adamu, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration Professor Hassan Ibrahim gave the advice while declaring open a two days workshop on, “Business Plan Development Entrepreneurship Support Fund for Students, Graduates for Self Employment”, organized by Malam Ibrahim Aliyu Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (CIED) at the University auditorium.

Professor Adamu urged the students, and graduating students to make good use of the entrepreneurship skills learned during their course of study in the university, and noted that the aim of the entrepreneur course is to avail them various opportunities available that will make them self employed and also to be an employer of labour.

The Vice Chancellor said the objectives of the the two day workshop is to prepare the prospective graduating students to be able to compete in the competitive market, saying the labour market is already saturated, with no jobs available.

He said instead of students to remain jobless after their studies, they could start a business, develop it with their entrepreneurship practical and theoretical knowledge obtained in the school.

In their separate presentations, the Branch Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria, Niger State, Alhaji Ibrahim Ademola who was represented by Mr. Abdullahi Aliyu Anaba of the Department Finance, spelt out the core mandate of the CBN as to ensure monetary and price stability, issue legal tender currency, maintain external reserves, promote sound financial system and act as bankers to the federal government.

He disclosed that the CBN discovered that most of its core mandate are not achieved because of inflation, and businesses are closing down, with people are losing their jobs.

The apex bank, he said came out with an intervention to salvage the situation or to stabilise and diversify the economy, to be able to create jobs, adding that the CBN has more than thirty interventions cut across all sectors of the economy, but for the prospective graduates, there are five interventions for the students and it is easily accessible.

The Branch Controller listed the five students accessible interventions to include Agricultural Credit Guarantee funds, Agricultural business small and medium scheme, Anchor Borrowers Programme, Creative industries financial initiatives and tertiary institutions financial schemes.

He explained further that the CBN serves as seventy five percent guarantee to the farmers, meaning in case of default the CBN has already guaranteed the banks but the loans is not giving to individuals but to groups like rice farmers associations of Nigeria RIFAN.

He then enjoyed the students to key into entrepreneurship so as to access the loans to start up business of their choice.

Also in his presentation the Manager of Bank of Industry Niger State who was also represented by Mr. Muhammad Muhammad explained that bank was established to bridge the gap for financial assistance with the mandate to transform the industrial sector of the economy by assisting with financial support and advice.

He mentioned two interventions for prospective graduates as GEF AND TIES which means Graduates Entrepreneurship Funds, for graduating students while they are in national service, stressing that the funds don’t need collateral, but the students NYSC Certificate.

He explained that the funds are available for all serving Corps members, and all that is required is to go online and apply.

The second one is called TIES which is a fund allocated from CBN to BOI to manage. TIES is for graduate who are no longer in service but their certificate is not more than seven years old he said the funds is available and what is required is to register with group of entrepreneurs to be able to access the funds.

Presenting a paper on how young entrepreneurs can write and develop a good business, a professor of Business Administration in the University, professor Salihu Adelabo said, for an entrepreneur to be able to access loans or grants he or she most possess the ability or knowledge of writing good plans because no financial institutions will give out loans without seeing your business plans.

This, he said, gives the financial institutions the clue of what one intend to do with loan assessed.

He added that for one to establish a good business, one must, at least register one’s company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and also carry out SWAT analysis of the business intended.

One must also conduct a visibility study of that business, to know its prospect or potential.

Engr Umar Aliyu of the Niger State Business Incubation Center, Minna said technology incubation programs has two objectives as commercialization of R and D results, as research institutions that have useful commercializable research result can be commercialized by the the Center.

Secondly, nurturing business for individuals with innovative business, business that has potential to grow.

Presenting a Vote of thanks, the Registrar Alhaji Idris Saleh Kusherki, represented by Deputy Registrar, Council and Management Affairs, Malam Babangida Bala Jatau stressed that the workshop is designed to prepare and expose students on the real life situation they may likely meet after graduation.

He however appreciated the Vice Chancellor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, Technology Incubation Center and other lecturers who presented papers during the workshop, and also Director Entrepreneurship Center and other staff of the Directorate for their relentless support and sacrifices.

Highlights of the event were paper presentations, questions and answers sessions, and short drama by the students of Department of English.