No fewer than 1,000 youths are expected to benefit from the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) in entrepreneurship, vocational and empowerment materials initiated by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
According to SMEDAN’s Director-General, Dikko Radda, in a statement on Tuesday said the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sub-sector are critical in the Nigerian economy, and the initiative will trigger an entrepreneurial revolution in Industrialization, Agriculture, and Commerce in Nigeria.
Mr. Radda stressed that the initiative will enhance youth engagement in productive ventures, thereby ensuring they earn income through filling the artisanal gap in Nigeria.
On modalities for the scheme, Dikko added that: “As you may be aware, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sub-sector is a critical sub-sector in the Nigerian economy.
“They collectively account for a majority of the enterprises in Nigeria and also account for the highest number of jobs created in the economy.
“It is in the bid to support the MSMEs in the most practical way that the Agency developed the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI).”
The SMEDAN DG explained that the program is running in 11 states in the country including: “Katsina, Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Niger, Lagos, Kwara, Bauchi, Zamfara and Ekiti where a total of 1,397 entrepreneurs will be impacted with entrepreneurship skills, vocational skills, and empowerment materials.”
He stated that the initiative has been concluded in Ebonyi, Niger, and Adamawa, with others commencing this week and after the program, the participants will have improved business management practice, serviced provision by trained artisans, and a host of other skills.
DG submitted, that: “In our determination to address the challenges confronting the MSMEs in Nigeria in a holistic manner, the Agency is implementing the One Local government One Product (OLOP) in one hundred and nine (109) senatorial districts in the country.
Similarly, the SMEDAN DG said that the Agency is implementing the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for micro-enterprises in Nigeria, in a bid to formalizing a majority of the micro-enterprises that are mostly operating in the informal sector.
“The Agency is collaborating with the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) towards establishing an SME Rating Agency in Nigeria. The SME Rating Agency is expected to de-risk the MSMEs and ensure that they have seamless access to affordable finance with respect to credit and credibility.,” he stated.