THE Association of Skilled and Vocational Artisans of Nigeria, says its partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has empowered 10 small business owners with soft loans.
Mr Everest Obijuru, President of the association, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, said the partnership would boost Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
According to him, the soft loan, which is interest-free, is aimed at creating wealth and national development among artisans.
Obijuru said the loan was in line with the Federal Government’s policy on self-reliance to diversify the economy for national development.
According to him, the association is an umbrella body that coordinates the activities of artisans, skills workers and other commercial crafts workers across the federation.
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He said the association had structures in the 36 States of the federation, including the FCT with a registered membership of more than 11 million.
Obijuru said that the association embarks on the training of its members regularly on government policies, skills acquisition and the use of modern technology to enhance their businesses to meet international standards.
He said that the beneficiaries were advised to judiciously use the funds to boost their businesses for sustainability.
According to him, the loan will enable them to expand their businesses as well as employ other unemployed youths in order to address unemployment in the country.
He advised the Federal Government to create a special bank that would address only issues of SMEs in the country.