The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, at the weekend, officially handed over the CBN 2011 intervention project (Center for Entrepreneurship Development building) to Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUAU) Umudike, Abia State.
This is a Federal Government project purely designed for the South East zone.
Speaking during the event, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, appealed to Abians and the entire South East to leverage and take advantage of the center to develop their skills.
The CBN boss, who was represented by a Deputy Director in CBN, Mr. Oluwole Owoeye, described the project as part of corporate and social responsibility of CBN, stating that the Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) is designed to develop skills (Small and Medium Scale Enterprise).
His word: “In Nigeria, we realised that for now, there is dearth of skills. People don’t have relevant skills.
“So the essence of this thing is for people to develop skills in various areas, so that they can be independent on their own.
“This one is the project the bank has developed for the South East zone. My appeal is Abia and the entire South East should leverage and take advantage of this centre, come and develop their skills. We know that Aba is well known for a lot of SMEs, so I want to use this medium to appeal to the people in Aba, its environs and entire Abia Sate to come and patronise this center, so that we will build up their skills.
“We have shoe, slippers, bag and sandals making unit, bread, cake, chin-chin and custard marking unit, clothing and textile unit, auto mechanic and generator repairs, insecticide, Air refreshner and perfume unit among others in this center. So people from the South East zone should come in and build their skills so that Nigeria will be a better place for all of us”.
He appealed to the Center Director to be objective enough in giving MOUAU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Francis Otunta, information on critical things lacking in the center so that it will keep on meeting the expectations of the people.
Emefiele also called on the Abia State Government to assist MOUAU in supplying facilities which may be lacking in the center, in order to sustain it.
In his address, the MOUAU VC, Prof. Francis Ogbonnaya Otunta, appreciated Prof. Ikenna Oyido (the administration under which the project was attracted and commenced), Prof. Hilary Odo Edeoga (for sustaining the development of the project) and the CBN for conceiving the idea that birthed the edifice from the start to the completion of it.
The VC represented by Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, the DVC, said the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) was established in October 2011 in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government and National Universities Commission, adding that the vision of CED was to make MOUAU a foremost institution, especially, University of Agriculture in Nigeria, that provides comprehensive and highly accessible quality entrepreneurship education and training.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, MOUAU, Prof. Oji Onu Ekumankama, commended the CBN boss for reaffirming his interest in CED and in promoting entrepreneurial education and training in the university.
He described the project as a big morale booster for CED whose mission is to provide facilities and expertise (for students of MOUAU and catchment community people) that will propel the growth and development of SMEs through sustainable quality, effective and dynamic entrepreneurial coaching and assistance.