The Nigerian Central Bank has announced that it will provide grants to tertiary students in order to encourage entrepreneurship and reduce unemployment.
The CBN revealed this in a study titled “Guidelines for the Implementation of Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme” released on Wednesday.
“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.
It went on to say that the scheme would encompass innovative start-ups and established firms owned by Nigerian polytechnic and university graduates in fields like agribusiness, information technology, creative industries, and science and technology.
Production, processing, storage, and logistics would be included in agribusiness, according to the CBN, while application/software development, business process outsourcing, robotics, and data management would be included in information technology.
Entertainment, artwork, publishing, culinary/event management, fashion, photography, and beauty/cosmetics are among the creative industries, according to the report, while medical innovation, robotics, ticketing systems, traffic systems, renewable energy, and waste management are among the science and technology industries.
According to the report, from March 1, 2022, the interest rate will be 5% per annum and 9% per annually, or as the CBN may prescribe.
According to the CBN, the beneficiary must apply through a designated online portal and present all necessary evidence to support the application.
It said that innovative entrepreneurial activities with strong potential for export, job creation, and transformational impact will be given precedence.