THE Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has trained over 10,000 micro-entrepreneurs in 19 states and 57 centres across the country under its National Industrial Skill Development Programme (NISD).
The Director General of the Agency, Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, disclosed this in Abuja while addressing the participants at the end of the training programme under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP); a subset of the National Enterprise Development Programme.
According to Dr Radda who was represented by the Director, Engineering, Technology and Infrastructure, Engr Abu Ozigi, “at the end of the exercise, which is running simultaneously in 19 states and 57 centres of the country, not less than 10,000 micro-entrepreneurs would have been trained.
He stated that the training, which covered agri-business, fabrication, Information Communication Technology, ICT, woodwork, building technology, electrical/electronics, leather work, textile/garment/fashion designing, hospitality business among others were targeted at reducing youth unemployment in the country.
According to him, “it is also expected that the training in the additional 18 states will build on the successes and lessons learnt from this present exercise and I am aware that the various skills you have acquired are in consonance with the priority sectors needed to rejuvenate the economy and to help us intensify the ‘Made in Nigeria’ campaign”
The training, he pointed, “will no doubt, add a lot of value to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector and increase the pool of entrepreneurs needed to build the critical mass to stem the tide of unemployment.”
The DG in addition stated that the training was made possible through the existing tripartite collaboration between the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the Bank of Industry to provide entrepreneurship and vocational skills training as well as finance to Nigerian youths.
The training programme he said was conceptualised to build a bridge over the gap that once existed between employers and job seekers in the industrial sector.
While advising the participants on the way forward, he said that, “learning how to run a business sustainably does not stop here. You must make effort to practicalise what you have learnt in these few days and also build on it by seeking business advice at any of the agency’s offices nationwide.”
Consequently, he promised that the agency would not hesitate to link the participants up with credible partners and mentors that could impact positively on their proposed businesses.
He however promised that the agency would soon commence open air business clinics where all regulatory agencies would be present to diagnose and solve most of the teething problems that confront would-be and existing entrepreneurs.