BY EMEKA EJERE

The Coalition Against COVID (CA-COVID), a body made up of prominent Nigerian business leaders is to create four million jobs within the next five years, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has revealed.

Youths would be the biggest beneficiaries of the job windfall for which the businessmen plan to invest N175 billion, according to the private sector coalition.

Emefiele told reporters at a CACOVID accountability meeting in Lagos on Wednesday that preliminary analysis showed unemployment, particularly among the youths, was a critical factor behind the #EndSARS protests.

With him at the conference were: chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; chairman of UBA Group,  Tony Elumelu and Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe.

CACOVID was created by the Bankers’ Committee, comprising of banks and major private sector players to address the funding challenges faced by federal and state governments fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emefiele, who chairs the Bankers’ Committee, said CA-COVID has committed to creating a high impact youth development programme that will provide technical and vocational education to over four million youths over the next five years.

He said: “Students will be trained on craftwork, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, and other artisanal related skills for which sufficient demand exist in Nigeria.

“Over N150 billion is expected to be deployed towards the set up and implementation of the youth development program, which will be available at select training centers across the country.”

Emefiele also disclosed that CACOVID will rehabilitate all the police stations that were damaged in the country as a result of wanton destruction and lootings that followed the #EndSARS protests.

He said, “CACOVID has committed to fully rehabilitate all 44 damaged and destroyed police stations nationwide in a bid to restore provision of security in affected locations.

“To further strengthen the security apparatus in the country, CACOVID has committed to provide over N100bn to procure equipment and gadgets for the Nigerian Police Force over the next two years; as our contribution to fully modernise the Nigerian Police.”