The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) says plans are underway for the resuscitation of the 23 industrial clusters in the country.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, made the disclosure on Wednesday at a gathering in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Mr Enelamah, who is also the and Director-General of SMEDAN, said the initiative is targeted at improving the businesses of entrepreneurs across the country, and to also improve the Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
SMEDAN was established to promote the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector of the nation’s economy.
The Federal Government has been asked to pay more attention to building Nigeria’s industrial capacity, by giving priority to the development and funding of Industrial Development Centers (IDCs) across the country.
The Senate Committee on Industries made the call during a visit to the Industrial Development Centre in Owerri, the Imo State capital, as part of its oversight function.
The Committee, led by Senator Sam Egwu, decried the state of the centres across the country, stressing the need to prioritise the IDCs and ensure they become functional, in order to contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
A member of the Committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade, observed that one of the major causes of Nigeria’s recession was the failure to develop its industrial capacities.
He added that countries like China and India were able to thrive due to the priority given to industrialisation.
“IDCs were meant to give a foundation of producing middle-level staff for industrialising the nation. And since they were not working very well, and have remained moribund in most of the centres, 23 of them in the country, our level of industrialisation is where it is, which is part of why the recession has come to this nation.
“Countries like India and China that were basically at the same level with Nigeria, are highly industrialised now because they paid attention to their development of industrial capacity, that is what is lacking here,” he said.
The Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dikko Radda, said to achieve full diversification of the economy, government should give more priority to industrialisation.
“I believe we are going to get it right this time because the lawmakers are here and they are the people that appropriate funds for the development of these centres.
“I believe they are really worried about it, and I believe that they are going to do something about it. The government will put more priority on the IDCs,” he said.
Acting President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is set to launch a three-day Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic on Thursday, February 23 for viable enterprises in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Recall that Acting President Osinbajo commissioned the Aba MSME clinic on January 26.
Aba is the commercial hub of Abia State in southeast Nigeria.
The Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau, Mr Segun Soewu, who made the disclosure in a statement on Monday, informed that the event would hold at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin by 10:00AM daily.
He described the clinic as an opportunity for MSME operators in the state to discuss the opportunities and challenges confronting their businesses.
The MSME Bureau boss added that business owners can also make inquiries about policies and regulations regarding their businesses from the Federal agencies that would be present at the programme.
He listed the agencies to include the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Export-Import Bank and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Others are Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Projects Development Institute, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.
Mr Soewu asked intending participants to contact the office of the Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau at the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives, Gambari Road in Ilorin.
Paucity of funds and lack of business registration have been identified as perennial challenges to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria.
Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr Umaru Radda, brought this to the fore while briefing the House of Representatives Committee on Industry during an oversight visit to industrial development centres in Lagos state.
Experts have identified small and medium scale enterprises as having the potential to boost any dwindling economy and the Nigerian authorities have been looking to SMEs as a way of reviving the economy.
The Director General of SMEDAN gave a situation report to the delegation from the National Assembly on the state of MSMEs in Nigeria and their budget performance in the current year.
After the briefing, the delegation moved to the Industrial Development Centre (IDC) in Ikorodu area of the state which is one of the 23 IDCs across the country.
There, most of the facilities are dilapidated from lack of use with most of the equipment, gathering dust.
The Chairman, House Committee on Industry, Mr Abubakar Moriki, then promised to turn the tide of the entrepreneurs by reviving the IDC.
The lawmakers succeeded in boosting the confidence of the entrepreneurs there that soon, the IDCs across the country would be revived.
The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr. Umar Radda says over one million jobs is expected to be created annually through the National Enterprise Development Programme.
Dr Radda, who was speaking at a meeting with some agencies in Abuja, explained that the jobs will be created through the over 50,000 cooperative societies registered for the scheme.
He promised a close collaboration with state and local governments to achieve the desired result.
The Kaduna State Government on Thursday commenced the disbursement of another N1 billion naira intervention fund to support operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
The programme, which was executed in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), was to support the accelerated development of the state through job creation, where the BOI and Kaduna state government contributed N500m each under a programme tagged ‘Graduate Support Grant’
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Muhtar Yero, described the intervention as very critical and a major component for economic rejuvenation and prosperity of the state.
He further explained that the main aim of the programme is to empower the citizens, especially the graduates and also reduce the level of crime and poverty in the state.
Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued midway into the programme when hundreds of graduate trainees under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) stormed the venue with placards, demanding the State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, to release the N1 billion Graduate Empowerment Loan promised to them over five months ago after their training.
Chanting anti-government songs, the aggrieved Youths blocked the Deputy Governor’s convoy as it made its way out of Hassan Katsina House, where the event was held.
They alleged that they were promised by the government to be empowered with money to set up their own businesses immediately after their training.
The Youths also alleged that they were asked to register with money for them to be entitled to benefit from the N1 billion loan.
However, in a swift reaction, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Shekarau Uchissa, denied the allegations saying the state government only went into capacity building where 1000 youths were trained in different skills, but were not promised any money.
The Small and Medium Development Enterprises Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has pledged to support the Students Advancement for Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) Nigeria, to train youths in entrepreneurship and financial skills.
This is coming as consolation to youths in Nigeria as they will soon have cause to smile.
The Director General of Agency, Mr Bature Umar, while addressing a news conference in Abuja said the federal government remains committed to youth empowerment and the federal government is repositioning the agency to enthrone the culture of entrepreneurship and provision of skills for Nigerian youths.
The news conference aimed at heralding the commencement of the SAGE World Cup being hosted by Nigeria availed the Mr. Bature, the opportunity to tell delegates that there is so much misinformation about the security situation in Nigeria but pledged the government’s commitment to empower youths.
Reacting, the founder of SAGE, Mr Curtis Deberg said, Nigeria, like any other nation, had its own challenges, including security, poverty and others that needed the support of everybody to adequately address them.
Sage is currently operating in all continents with a mission to create the next generation of business leaders that their innovations and social enterprise are aimed at addressing the major needs of the global community.