By Emmanuella Anokam
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has begun training of 1,015 persons in the North Central Geo-political zone on entrepreneurship skills.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training is under its National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) and lasts for five days.
Dr Dikko Radda, Director-General, SMEDAN, at the official opening of the training on Monday in Abuja said the programme was being implemented in the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to spur entrepreneurship.
Radda, represented by Mr Monday Ewans, Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion, SMEDAN, listed fashion and designing, leather works, hairdressing and makeup as the trades to be learnt by the beneficiaries.
According to the director-general, a total of 5,365 entrepreneurs would be impacted with entrepreneurship and vocational skills and empowerment materials nationwide at the rate of 145 per state.
The entrepreneurship programme had its National inauguration in Sokoto State on Aug. 9, which signalled its commencement in all states within the North-West geopolitical zone and other zones subsequently.
Radda, however ,noted that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as economic catalysts, if properly harnessed could trigger an entrepreneurial revolution in industry, agriculture and commerce in Nigeria.
He said it was in the bid to support the MSMEs in the most practical way that the agency developed the NBSDI to fill the capacity gap of the youth by enhancing their engagement in productive ventures.
“The initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services would be provided by local and well trained young artisans leading to a reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries and improved market support.
“At the end of the programme, the expected outcome will include: improved management practice and service provision by trained artisans, increase in the number of formalised businesses and access to finance, equipment and resources,’’ he said.
In the bid to establish credible data for MSMEs in Nigeria to complement the National MSMEs survey, the SMEDAN boss noted that the agency was currently undertaking the MSMEs Mass Registration Project (MMRP) nationwide.
This, he said would enhance evidence-based planning for wholesome development of the subsector, thereby urging all MSMEs to log into its site www.smedanregister.ng to register.
In a remark, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, Minister of State for FCT, underscored the need for more skills acquisition in Nigeria, thereby urging the participants to be attentive and focused to garner knowledge for livelihood.
Aliyu, represented by Mrs Busola Ayoade, her Special Adviser on Social Development, noted that the youth were required to engage in several skills acquisition to address unemployment and restiveness in the country.
A cross-section of the participants who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) expressed gratitude to SMEDAN and the Federal Government for the ample opportunity given to them as beneficiaries in different trades.
Mrs Felicia Sams, a Fashion Designer, said she was eager to improve and build upon the skills she already had to impact the teens and be self-reliant.
Hajia Talatu Suleiman, who expressed joy to be a beneficiary in fashion and designing, said it would develop her ideas and passion to sew for her family and society to earn a living.(NAN)