The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has begun a three-day capacity building training for 100 entrepreneurship teachers in Damaturu, Yobe. SMEDAN Director-General, Mr Olawale Fasanya, stated this at the inauguration of the training exercise on Tuesday in Damaturu.
The exercise is being implemented under the agency’s Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme-National School Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP) .
He said the participants drawn from basic and post basic schools were being trained with the expectation that they would step down what they learn to their students and pupils at the end of the exercise.
Represented by Dr Yinka Fisher, Fasanya noted that the training was pertinent and timely, considering the dearth of white collar jobs in the country.
“The concept is designed to inculcate into the students the intelligent and intellectual consciousness of environment to enable maximise existence and potential.
“Today’s education should therefore be predicated on the philosophy of creating jobs, i.
e. turning the students from being job seekers to job creators.
“It is no more go to school, get good grades and get a good job.
“It is how to go to school, get good grades and acquire skills of being your own boss – starting your own business,” he said.
He said the programme, which commenced in 2017 had so far been implemented in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adding that the remaining states would benefit from the programme before the end of 2022. Fasanya said the agency would also introduce school entrepreneurship competition for secondary schools in the country in 2023. In his remarks, Alhaji Yakubu Sani, Director, Entrepreneurship, Business and Sustainability, state Ministry of Wealth Creation, Empowerment and Employment Generation, thanked SMEDAN for the gesture.
He said unemployment, especially among the youths has been identified as the major causes of insurgency and other violent crimes.
Sani said the state was ready to take ownership of the programme, adding that the ministry had concluded arrangements to provide soft loans to women and youth entrepreneurs.
Mr Masudur Rahman, the Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, has solicited the collaboration of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to explore opportunities in the nation’s various sectors.
Rahman said this during a visit to the Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, in his office on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the collaboration would help to grow the economies of both countries.
Rahman said that Nigeria and Bangladesh could collaborate in the textile, pharmaceutical, , energy and Information Communication Technology (ICT) industries.
He said that Bangladesh had comparative advantage in most of the sectors, while entrepreneurs in Nigeria could tap into experiences of their contemporaries in the country.
Rahman said the partnership would also improve the intra-trade volume of both countries.
He noted that his country has experienced progress in micro-economic growth.
”Nigeria will be holding an SME multilateral platform event in October.
”We look forward to enhancing the intra-trade between the countries because there will be huge opportunities from the event.
”As a diplomat, bureaucrat, I am convinced that entrepreneurs will find their way out to do meaningful businesses that can help the two economies and bring about growth,” Rahman said.
Responding, Fasanya said that Nigeria’s economy was similar to Bangladeshi economy.
The director-general said that SMEs in the country had a lot to learn from their Bangladesh counterpart.
He said that the country would be hosting SME summit in October to facilitate exchange of ideas.
Fasanya said that both countries could collaborate in various areas to explore the benefits to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The director-general said that the proposed SME centre would help coordinate activities for exchange of ideas, innovative technology and markets.
”We have a lot to learn from you because you have been able to develop faster and in terms of economic variables in Bangladesh.
”We will look at all areas that we can collaborate,” he said.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), says it will continue to create opportunities for MSMEs to penetrate local and international markets.
The Director-General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya, said this at the opening of the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) Opportunity Fair 2022 in Benin on Wednesday.
Fasanya said lack of access to market was one of the challenges that was preventing MSMEs from expanding as well as being competitive.
“The idea of the Opportunity Fair is to impact MSMEs, It is a way to assist them to access market, technology, finance, networking, capacity building.
“If all these are put in place, it means their businesses will run better.
” He said the fair was a one -stop shop to solve the challenges of MSMEs as the different regulatory and business promotion bodies as well as financial institutions were on ground to provide support.
Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, said that one could not underscore the fact that MSMEs were the engine of any economy, as they remained the largest employers of labour.
Obaseki said the theme for the Fair, ‘Expanding Market Access for Nigerian MSMEs’, reinforced his administration’s objectives to partner with private sector to promote enterprise and skills development in the state.
”‘In Edo, we have been intentional in creating the right atmosphere for the development of small businesses, which have been anchored on the state skills development drive.
” The governor was represented by Hon Afishetu Braimoh, the Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Cooperative in Edo. The governor urged MSMEs owners attending the Fair to leverage the platform provided to showcase their products, services and innovation.
Speaking in his capacity as Commissioner, Braimoh said the state had initiated a project tagged “Farm to Table” where 20 made in Edo products would be promoted to the shelter of top shops in the state.
Braimoh said that the Fair would help MSMEs tackle challenges of lack of market information, access to market as well as harnessing of export potential.
Represented by Mrs Evelyn Imode, the Director, Trade and Promotion in the ministry, the Commissioner said, “this exhibition is a clarion call on all Edo people to improve their patronage of goods and services made in the state.
” “MSMEs activities in the state range from processing to production of consumer goods, from supply of input to the real estate, distribution, and creative industries, among others.
” In her remarks, wife of Edo Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, who declared the Fair opened, commended the organisers as well as sponsors for providing an opportunity for MSMEs to grow their businesses.
Obaseki said that Edo government was passionate about the growth and sustainability of MSMES, noting that the Production Hub in the state had provided a space for businesses to enjoy minimum cost of production.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) says it plans to establish Business Information Centres in all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the country.
Mr Olawale Fasanya, the Director General, SMEDAN, said this at a stakeholders’ dialogue on the implementation of the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NSMEs) Policy in Plateau on Thursday in Jos. According to Fasanya, the gesture would enable small scale business holders; particularly those at rural levels have access to information about our programmes.
He said that the gesture would deepen the agency’s reach and bring its presence to bear in rural areas.
”We have a lot of programmes; there are huge funds for people to access but the problem is lack of access to the right information.
”So, part of the strategy we want to use to solve this problem is to have business information centres across all the LGAs. ”We cannot be everywhere, but we will work with states and LGAs to see how we can deepen our reach,” he said.
The D-G said that most of the programmes were geared toward the people at the grassroots, since they formed bulk of where MSMEs were located in the country.
”Most of our programmes are directed at the grassroots people, because our current survey shows that out of the 39.6 million MSMEs that we have in Nigeria, 96.7 per cent of them are in the informal sector.
”Majority of Nigerians are in that class, and we cannot afford to neglect them.
”Currently, we are giving conditional cash transfer to people at the bottom of pyramid, but lack of adequate information has been a serious issue,” he said.
On the stakeholders’ dialogue, Fasanya said that it was aimed at getting feedback and suggestions from stakeholders at the state levels, with a view to improving on the agency’s intervention.
”We are here to harvest inputs from stakeholders, which we believe will assist us to decide on impactful intervention programmes for MSMEs ”We don’t have to assume that we know it all, because it makes it better when you come out like this and hear from the stakeholders.
”Things are changing every day, so this interaction will help us to feel existing gaps, resolve some of the challenges confronting MSMEs and the best way is to hear from the stakeholders,” he said.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and iTEKKU, an online marketing platform, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to upscale Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) profitability and growth in the country.
Director-General, SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, at the MoU signing on Tuesday in Lagos, said the idea was to improve the competitiveness and scalability of Nigerian MSMEs in spite of the economic challenges facing the country.
He said the development would provide some value and incentives such as medical insurance at a subsidised rate and advisory services for MSMEs. He said with the MoU, MSMEs would be given access to carry out commercial transactions with consumers, providing solutions to their marketing problems.
Fasanya added that the businesses would have access to interact with consumers directly by displaying information, business profiles and product offerings; also able to communicate with consumers, validating payments and other activities.
“We are excited that it is young people like you that are driving these, because part of our priority clientele are women and youths.
“We want to make sure that we work with a lot of youths with innovative ideas that can easily impact the ecosystem as we believe that you will put all your energy into this.
“There would be other initiatives that would come to complement the package, so it is not just a market place but a place MSMEs would come aboard and benefit from some incentives,” he said.
Commenting on the partnership and its benefits to MSMEs in the country, the Co-Founder, iTEKKU, Mr Olupitan Ayomide, said the company was committed to boosting MSMEs in Nigeria by upscaling them on their platform, also improving the goals of SMEDAN.
He explained that merchants, consumers and resellers, logistics and last mile delivery, credit (buy-now-pay-later) and payment systems were among the stakeholders connected to their platforms.
“iTEKKU, an online market, is a social commerce platform that enhances the concept of Business to Consumer (B2C) and provides an opportunity for MSMEs to expand.
“MSMEs are the lifeline of any economy, especially in emerging markets like Nigeria, yet, this segment of the market has limited access to the customers that require these products and services.
“Our approach seeks to address these challenges through the ITEKKU Marketplace.
“iTEKKU is solving problems across various sectors majorly targeting the MSME for them to scale up their businesses by exposing them to the markets, users that would come on our platforms to buy from them.
“They do not have to go through the stress or issues of having to do their marketing personally for themselves.
“They have a platform now where they can come and upload their catalogues for services that they offer and have access to users that can reach them and buy the products and services,” he said.
The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) on Thursday certified 150 Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) to improve the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Hajia Mariam Katagum, at the virtual presentation in Lagos, said the certification programme for trained and practicing BDSPs was important for the continuous growth of MSMEs in the country.
Katagum, represented by Mr Adewale Bakare, Director, Industry Development, FMITI, said the Ministry was in the forefront of efforts to establish a platform for enthroning professionalism with the BDSP ecosystem in Nigeria.
She said it was agreed by the ministry and other relevant stakeholders within the MSME sub-sector in Nigeria that only certified BDSPs would be allowed to deliverer capacity building, mentorship, counselling and other forms of BDS to MSMEs in Nigeria.
She added that SMEDAN would post the names of the second batch of the certified Business Development Service Providers on its website.
Katagum stated that there would be posting of other social media handles and special advertisements in major newspapers in Nigeria for all current and potential users of BDSPs in Nigeria.
She urged certified BDSPs to use the opportunity to solve the challenges comfronting MSMEs in Nigeria.
Director-General, SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, said the certification would ensure that both existing and potential BDSPs had the opportunity to prove their technical competence towards supporting MSMEs in Nigeria.
“The posting on other social media handles and special advertisements in major newspapers in Nigeria for all current and potential users of BDSPs in Nigeria to draw from will be effected as soon as possible.
“In addition, to show commitment and sincerity of purpose, the Agency will ensure that, going forward, being a certified BDSP will now be one of the criteria for bidding for capacity building programmes in the Agency,” he said.
He revealed that SMEDAN in its determination to address the challenges confronting the MSMEs in Nigeria in a holistic manner,was implementing the One Local government One Product (OLOP) initiative in one hundred and nine (109) senatorial districts in the country.
“This ambitious effort of the Agency is based on the successful implementation of the pilot phase of the OLOP programme in Katsina, Kaduna, FCT, Osun and Anambra States three years ago.
“The intervention activities under OLOP, among others, include access to workspace, equipment support, access to working capital, and capacity building,” he said.
He added that in the same vein, the agency was implementing the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for micro enterprises in Nigeria.
“This programme is aimed at formalising a majority of the nano and micro enterprises that are mostly operating in the informal sector.
“This programme, which involves capacity building, registration of the micro enterprises with the CAC, provision of micro insurance, opening of bank accounts and provision of grants (N50,000 each) has so far been implemented in 22 States where over 40,000 entrepreneurs have been impacted,” he said.
Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Chistianah Adeyeye, said NAFDAC had created 50 per cent discount for MSME registration to encourage more participants in the profession.
Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Muhammad Nami, represented by the Director of State, FIRS, Mr Abubakar Muhammed, commended the effort of the awardees and assured them of the service’s continuous collaboration.
He said the service had introduced a lot of polices and platforms such as 10 per cent discount for about 20 million business development services.
The Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Africa Atlantic University, Dr Peter Bamkole, commended SMEDAN for its professionalism, saying that the network would ease challenges encountered by MSMEs in Nigeria.
He urged participants and awardees to operate with due diligent, adding that they would be recertified every three years for proper checks and balances.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, (SMEDAN), will empower 50 people living with disabilities ( PLWDs), in Katsina State with N2.5million.
Mr Fisher Adeyinka, Deputy Director, Partnership and Coordination Department, of SMEDAN, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , during a two-day workshop organised for them on Wednesday in Katsina.
He said that each of the beneficiaries who were drawn from the 34 local governments of the state would be given N 50,000. He said the money would be disbursed to the PLWDs at the end of the training workshop organised in collaboration with the Katsina State Government.
According to him, the workshop was aimed to broaden the knowledge of the beneficiaries on the various business enterprises they intended to establish.
Adeyinka said that the training was to assist them to know how they can establish the businesses of their choice.
He said: “We felt there is always ability in disability, that was the reason why we organised the special training for the physically- challenged persons.
“We have already organised the maiden edition of this programme in Lagos, while Katsina State is the second place that we are doing this.
” Fisher stated that the training will help the participants to up-scale their skills.
NAN reports that the theme of the workshop was: “Institutionalised Support for People Living With Disabilities.
Stakeholders call for cNAN) Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have called for collaborative efforts with the view to promoting food security and nutrition in Nigeria via agribusiness.
They made the call on Wednesday in Lagos at the Agribusiness Food Security and Nutrition summit organised by the publishers of a media outfit, MSMEs Today.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was organised to deliberate on issues that are aimed at tackling the menace of food insecurity in the country.
The summit’s theme was: “Meeting the Food Security and Nutrition Needs of the Nation through Sustainable Agriculture,” and was attended by policy makers, agriculture experts, farmers associations and the private sector.
Mr Amadi Ihekwumere, the event’s convener, said it was a clarion call to put the issues of agribusiness and food security on the front burner.
He said: “We feel that as a publication we have an obligation to play our own part in terms of how we support what the government, the private sector, and MSMEs are doing on the agriculture front.
sector is supposed to be a sector that should be ranking as high as the oil and gas sector in Nigeria in terms of supporting the economy.
“The sector is pivotal in providing jobs and creating employment, and also being able to attract investment and attract foreign exchange by the export of agro-produce.
“And we feel obligated to create a platform like this, where we will bring stakeholders in government, both policymakers, business leaders, practitioners, and stakeholders who are engaged in diverse value chain aspects of agriculture.
“This is to discuss the issues that are very critical to either the growth or the downward trend of the sector and how to tackle them.
“Therefore, we are here to consider what concerted actions, policies, synergies, and collaborations that we require to bring on board in order that we will be able to actualise our nation’s Food and Nutritional Security Plan in the agric.
sector,” Amadi said.
The Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) Mr Wale Fasoya, said the agency was ready to support all MSMEs in the sector.
Fasoya, represented by the Director, Partnership and Coordination, Dr Friday Okpara, said, “As a government agency, we are extending our hands of fellowship, to all the associations that are here, and all the private sector bodies also.
“As an agency, we support farmers as cooperatives and not individually to bring out their best in food security and productivity.
“SMEDAN understands the importance of agriculture, hence the formation of a full fledged department of agribusiness development and extension services to boost the sector’s productivity.
“So, we appeal to all farmers association to come to SMEDAN for all necessary help and collaboration they may need,” Fasoya said.
Mr Mohammed Adama of accounting firm, KPMG, represented by Mr Akintoye Alawode, saidin his keynote address that the agric.
sector had a lot of untapped potentials.
“There has been a lot of talking about agriculture, but we just never seem to be able to realise the potential.
So we need look at it with the statistics around Nigeria’s agricultural landscape.
“We need to refresh our memories on how much potentials we are sitting on in the agric sector.
And let us also look at some of the challenges that are preventing us from realising these huge potentials.
“There is no doubt in which direction we should go.
Agriculture has to be in the forefront and it is not just emphasising the fact that it has to be in the forefront but there is a lot of urgency to it now.
“We must do something now to ensure food security in the country,” Alawode said.
Dr Ezra YakusaK, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), represented by Mr Samuel Oyeyipo, said NEPC was ready to support the export ambitions of farmers.
“Permit me to inform this gathering that the NEPC has concluded the implementation of Export Expansion Facility Programme (EFP) of the federal government of Nigeria to bring export related businesses back to their feet.
“We also want you to know that the Exporters Expansion Ground (EEG) has been redesigned to serve Nigerian exporters better.
“These steps were taken to create market access for many Nigerian products.
“The council wishes to identify with the vision of this programme and assure it continues to partner with any agency or private sector.
This is especially on issues related to the development and production of agro-exports from Nigeria to all countries of the world,” Yakusak said.
SMEDAN, NAOWA train 50 Army officers’ wives on entrepreneurial skills
SMEDAN trains soldiers’ wives on entrepreneurial skills in Lagos Third The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in partnership with the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) on Tuesday started a two-day training on capacity building for NAOWA members.
During the programme tagged: Institutional support for NAOWA which was holding at the Military Cantonment, Ojo, Lagos State, SMEDAN promised to give grants to NAOWA members to start their own businesses.
The Director-General (D-G) SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, while speaking on the purpose of the workshop said that the training was designed to enhance the capacity of NAOWA members in the state.
“The capacity building workshop is aimed at forging a formidable collaboration that will make a significant impact on the welfare and well-being of members.
“It is to empower wives of our gallant officers both standing and fallen heroes, especially, those at the lowest rung of the ladder.
” He said that the programme would strengthen the capacity and sharpened the skills of members as regards to how they could manage and run their businesses.
“We will help members grow their businesess and those who are not doing anything, we will assist them in starting a business.
“The programme is not only on capacity building, at the end, the wives of the officers will be given some grants to enable them manage their businesses well.
“The training will help create jobs and reduce poverty among our officers’ wives.
” Fasanya was represented by Dr. Friday Okpara, the Director in charge of Partnership and Coordination of the agency.
The National President of NAOWA, Mrs Salamatu Yahaya, in her address urged her members to see the empowerment as a leverage to carve out a niche to becoming successful entrepreneurs and inspirational business women to others.
She said, ” It is a fact that when you empower a woman, you have empowered the whole family.
“The programme is coming at the right time given the challenging situation in our dear country, it will help curb poverty.
“Having appropriate business skills will raise our standard of living and productivity.
” Yahaya was represented by the Acting Chairperson, 81 Division, Lagos State, Mrs Laraban Ben-Onyeuko.
She thanked the D-G of SMEDAN for considering her members worthy beneficiaries of SMEDAN’s Institutional Support Programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
In an interview with Onyeuko, she said the programme would assist women in the barracks to be comfortable.
“The training will teach our women how to do businesses and how to improve on them.
“Women are the front burner of every household, we must be doing something to support our husbands.
“We will be empowered with accounting skill and how to turn our one kobo to one naira.
” According to her, in the next few years, women in the barracks will become millionaires.