The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) is to partner GIZ (a German Government Initiative) to create over a million jobs annually through the national Economic Advocacy for Growth of Local Enterprise (EAGLE).
The jobs are expected to cover the entire 774 local governments in the country and will be focused on micro, small and medium enterprises.
Director General of SMEDAN, Umaru Radda, stated this during EAGLE’s summit in Abuja.
The DG, who was represented by Wale Fasanya, described the initiative as huge and ambitious.
He, however, stated that it was achievable with the right support and buy-in of all stakeholders.
“It is our belief that if this programme is replicated in all states of the federation, it will salvage the overwhelming unemployment situation as well as address youth restiveness and other social vices currently faced by this country,” he said.
He described MSMEs as the engine of growth for economic development, observing that they contributed greatly to employment generation, utilisation of local resources as well as provision of platform for rapid industrialisation and rural revitalisation.
He said: “Following the recent collaborative survey between SMEDAN and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), it was revealed that of the over 37 million MSMEs, micro enterprises form the bulk with about 96.4 per cent. This clearly shows that the number of the micro enterprise is huge and should be nurtured accordingly.
“In order to create jobs and wealth that would facilitate self reliance and poverty alleviation, all hands must be on deck through a more coordinated approach at the federal, state and local government levels.
“SMEDAN would be very much favourably disposed towards collaborating with GIZ and lending the necessary support to ensure that the programme realises its objectives and becomes sustainable.
“The Agency is very much prepared and willing to sit down with representatives of the BDCN to work out a sustainable framework for the activities of the BDCN and its extension into other states of the federation.
“As a way forward therefore, the agency would immediately put all necessary mechanisms in place in order to secure the buy-in of all relevant stakeholders as well as sensitise and create awareness for the programme in all the 774 local government areas of the federation.
“Apart from this, the agency would also facilitate peer review meeting of the three pilot states in order to consolidate on the programme, facilitate the necessary network and to share experiences.”