By David Akinmola
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI), has intensified its commitment to developing Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as well as creating jobs.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the BOI recently, Director-General of NECA, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said with the interventions from the BOI to help businesses stay afloat, deepening engagement with the bank was critical to assist its young graduates from the Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP) space with starter packs, grants and loans at a low-interest rate.
He said the collaboration would open up the space for the teeming youths to open and develop their businesses, which will help reduce the country’s high unemployment rate.
The NECA boss said the employers’ body wants to leverage the bank’s intervention for grants, starter packs, and loans with low interest for its graduates.
Noting that the project, which is a joint initiative with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), is designed to promote the availability of middle-level manpower with the appropriate technical and vocational skills to meet the identified needs of industries in Nigeria.
He said having the intervention of the BOI to facilitate the project would go a long way, as the ability and capacity of the groups to provide the starter pack had become very limited.
Stating that NECA’s discussions with the BOI aligned with the bank’s critical objectives and the association’s objective on enterprise sustainability, Oyerinde said he believes the partnership would create an impact to promote job creation in the country.
“It is a timely engagement. The first run of the TSDP training programme with about 45 participating organisations will start in March and end around September when graduation will begin. We hope that whatever we want to do with the BOI would have a consummated date and be put in practical context when the graduates would have rounded up their training with the TSDP,” he said.