The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced new loans for university and polytechnic graduates who are willing to set up businesses, saying the move is part of its effort to fight rising unemployment in the country.
The bank said the credit will be implemented under its Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES).
“The CBN, as part of its policy measures to address rising youth unemployment and underemployment, introduces the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) to create a paradigm shift among undergraduates and graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities, from seeking white-collar jobs to entrepreneurship,” the bank said. “The Scheme aims to provide an innovative financing model that will boost job creation, enhance entrepreneurship development, and support economic growth.”
The loan ranges from N5 million for individual/sole proprietorship/small company projects, to N25 million for partnerships/company projects.
Applicants for the first option of the award are expected to have graduated from any Nigerian university or polytechnic within the past seven years.
Their scope of activities must be around agribusiness, information and technology, creative industry, science and technology.
The loan has an interest rate of five per cent per annum from now to February 2022, and nine per cent from March 1, 2022.
Businesses are expected to start paying back after 12 months and repayment should be completed in five years.
Interested person can apply online via the designated online portal providing requisite information and documents, such as:
1. First degree and NYSC discharge (or exemption certificate); valid mobile phone number (linked to your NIN), BVN, NIN, TIN, and email address.
2. Evidence of business registration (certified true copies of relevant CAC documents); and Corporate bank account number of business.
Female entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply and are expected to take upto 50 per cent of the offers.
Existing businesses can also be qualified for funding through equity investment, the bank said.
The bank said that it will also distribute N500 million among the top five tertiary institutions under the national biennial entrepreneurship competition to raise awareness and visibility of entrepreneurial or technological innovations among undergraduates.
“Applications for participation under the Development window shall be through submission of application on https://cbnties.com.ng Body of Experts (BoE) shall be constituted from the private and public sector to evaluate entrepreneurial and technological innovations submitted by Nigerian polytechnics and universities. Top five (5) polytechnics and universities at the national level shall be awarded the grant prize on the recommendation of the Body of Experts (BoE),” it said.
“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,” it said.