Youths may use NYSC, degree certificates as collateral for loans

Youths in the country may be asked to deposit their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificates, degree certificates with the banks to enable them have access to loans.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this on Tuesday after the apex bank and the Bankers’ Committee agreed to set up a committee headed by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of commercial banks to create a strategy that will stimulate lending in the domestic economy.

He said: “We need to create a strategy that makes it easy for businesses to access credit. That will also make it easy for reporters to earn foreign exchange and that is why we will be setting up the committee headed by bank CEOs.”

According to him, the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee have been working closely to ensure that youths, who are doing well in the entertainment industry, information technology and software development, get access to credit.

Emefiele said the committee will ensure that lenders deploy key intervention funds, including the N210 billion Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) fund, N60 billion SMEs fund from five per cent annual contribution from banks’ profits, N500 billion Export Stimulation Fund, among others, to promote credit access.

“The National Microfinance Bank is expected to make it easier for borrowers to access loans.  We want to create independent challenges from where the funds will go out from. The Microfinance banks are doing their best but they are not lending at single digit interest rate,” he said.

Emefiele went on: “We will make it easy for the youths to access the loans. They will work under the co-operative/ cluster arrangement to ensure they payback.

“Improving access to finance and addressing infrastructural impediments faced by companies geared towards the export market will confer a string benefits on the economy.

He said the drop in Nigeria’s export earnings arose from reliance on crude oil, which exposed the fragility of the country’s domestic economy in 2016.

He said the development reinforced the view within the CBN and Bankers’ committee on the need to revise the country’s growth strategy as a nation.

“At certain points in our nation’s history, non-oil export represented over 90 per cent of our foreign exchange earnings. In the 60’s Nigeria was a major exporter of cocoa, palm oil, cotton, groundnut, rubber, hides and skins.

“With the discovery of crude oil, Nigeria began to rely more on oil exports as a major source of its foreign exchange, and its hare of non-oil export witnessed a precipitous decline.”

The CBN boss said that the banks needed to support the economy by lending to promote economic growth.

“We need to move money to the real sector and make credit available to those at the grassroots to foster sustainable economic growth,” he said.