The Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA), a Civil Society Organisation, has called for the protection and education of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on their rights to electricity supply to promote business.
Mr Princewill Okorie, the National Coordinator of APPA, made the call in Abuja at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) version of National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Electricity Consumers Protection Advocacy Programme.
The programme has the theme: “Developing and Promoting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises operating in the Federal Capital Territory through exposition on Consumer Protection Component of Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005’’.
Okorie, who is also the National Coordinator of MSME Electricity Consumer Protection, said that there was need to expose MSMEs to the consumer protection component of Electric Power Sector Reform ACT 2005.
He said that this would prevent unfair business practices which Distribution Companies (DisCos) perpetrate against consumers in the country.
He said that the programme which was in line with the vision and mission of Abuja Enterprises Agency and the National Policy of MSME would enable the entrepreneurs in FCT to know their right as electricity consumers.
He listed the rights to include billing, metering, fault repairs, connection, disconnection, complaints handling and resolutions.
According to him, knowledge of these rights and acquisition of skills and capacity to ensure their lawful implementation will enable MSMEs to escape, resist and seek redress against unfair business practices perpetrated against them by licenced distribution companies.
“The expected result of the advocacy shall include: application of the rule of law, protection of consumer rights of MSMEs, improved enforcement of regulatory policies on electricity protection,’’ he said.
He said this would lead to sanctions against Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) that violate consumers’ rights of MSMEs.
He added that the measures would enable MSMEs to save money, enjoy healthy customer relationship with DisCos and improve production and service delivery.
“This will improve the economy of FCTA as these MSMEs pay revenue, levies and taxes to the Area Councils and FCT administration to enhance availability of products and services for FCT residents,’’ he said.
In his keynote address, Mr Oluwale Fasanya, the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), said that it was the agency’s responsibility to formulate policies to ensure the ease of doing business.
Fasanya, represented by FCT Director of SEMEDAN, Mrs Mary Kolawole, said that it was also the responsibility of the agency to ensure Nigeria’s MSMEs competitiveness in the global market.
He said that to ensure that small and business enterprises thrived in the country the agency was working with relevant stakeholders in both the public and private sectors.
According to him, the multiplier effect of high electricity tariff and poor supply on businesses are in no doubt very grievous as this will increase MSMEs production cost and reduce their competitiveness in the global market.
“Increase in capital requirement affects consumer consumption pattern and also encourage sharp practices among the consumers
“To combat these menace, the agency is working closely with the public and private sector to advocate for the establishment of industrial development centres.’’
He said it would also advocate for the implementation of the electricity consumer licences performances standard and follow up on MSMEs enlightenment programmes and advocacy.
Fasanya said that SMEDAN in a bid to establish credible data of MSMEs in the country was now undertaking the MSMEs mass registration project across the country.
“This data base will enhance evidence-based planning for wholesome development of the sub sector and all MSMEs are encouraged to register as there are numerous benefits to be derived from the exercise,” he said.
On her part, Mrs Janet Udo, Assistant Director, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), said that the commission was ready to support the APPA to educate consumers in that sector to know their rights.
Udo said that the commission had supported consumers to know their rights and insist on their rights and demand for quality service.
A blind teenager in Katsina State, Malam Faisal Labi-Show, is drumming support for the 2023 gubernatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Dikko Umar-Radda.
Labi-Show told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Katsina that Umar-Radda use to grant scholarships to the physically challenged persons and other vulnerable in the state.
According to him, Umar-Radda, who was the immediate past Director-General of Medium and Small Scale Enterprises of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has sympathy of masses at heart.
The teenager said when he was in SMEDAN; he usually grant scholarships to the physically challenged from primary to secondary schools up to tertiary institutions to enable the beneficiaries attain their education goals.
“Apart from the scholarship, he also give money, clothes and foodstuff to the physically challenged to use with their families.
“We really appreciated this kind gesture and his concern for the disabled persons and the entire masses.
“It is in view of this that, i am throwing my support behind Umar-Radda to become the next governor of the state in 2023, by God Grace,” he said.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) on Tuesday, commenced a three-day capacity building for entrepreneurship teachers in Asaba, Delta.
The Director-General, SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, in his address of welcome at the training, said that the general idea behind the capacity building was to catch the pupils and students young, by equipping them with entrepreneurship skills.
Fasanya said that SMEDAN, through its flagship programme, “Mind Shift – National School Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP) -2022, aimed to build entrepreneurship skills in the minds of primary school pupils and secondary students through their teachers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training programme was organised by SMEDAN, in partnership with the Delta State Government.
Fasanya, represented by the Agency’s South-South Zonal Coordinator, Mr Egbuna Iloba, said that the essence of the programme was captured on the adage, ” Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime”.
He said that with the World Bank’s prediction of an additional 40 million people joining the economically active group by 2040 in Sub-Saharan Africa, it has become imperative for young Nigerians to be supported with education and training that promotes employment generation.
According to him, the programme is designed to enhance the capacity of the teachers who will in turn prepare the pupils and students and convert them into entrepreneurs.
“There is much anxiety and uncertainty among the Nigerian students about their future because of dearth of opportunity in the employment market and their lack of entrepreneurial skills to go into new business ventures.
” Given the number of people entering the unemployment market, it has become imperative for young people to be supported with education and training that promotes employment generation and wealth creation.
“It was on this premise that the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme (MEP) was conceived by SMEDAN.
“The programme is designed to engage the vibrant energy of the students, youths and channel it into productive creation and management of their own businesses.
“The programme provides access to functional and hand-on entrepreneurship and financial literacy and community service education, to every primary and secondary student in Nigeria,” Fasanya said.
According to him, the MEP programme is driven through the N-SEP for primary and secondary school and the Tertiary Institutes Entrepreneurship Development Programme (TINEDEP).
“We have gotten the buy-in of the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education and the regulatory authorities have endorsed the programme.
” The objectives of the programme include: inculcating the culture of Entrepreneurship into the students of young age and involving many businesses and community leaders in a programme that impacts positively the lives of youths and the community, “he said.
Fasanya said that SMEDAN had carefully designed teachers’ manual to guide the teachers on how to hand-hold the pupils and students towards their entrepreneurship journey.
He, however, urged the state government to take the ownership of the programme and step it down to all the schools in the state.
On her part, Mrs Rose Ezewu, State Commissioner for Secondary Education, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sir Austin Oghoro, while declaring the programme open, lauded SMEDAN for the capacity building.
She described the programme as first of its kind, while urging the agency to sustain the commitment of equipping Nigerians with skills for growth and development.
According to Ezewu, the programme is worthy of emulation, the training will enable the state government to chart a new course in shaping the mindset of pupils and students in areas of business development and wealth creation.
“The teachers for this training have been specially selected to be at the vanguard of this programme.
“And, I wish to enjoin you to effectively utilise the skills learnt to improve the education sector and develop the school children in the state, “she said.
While tasking the participants on the training, Ezewu expressed confidence that the outcome of the training would be beneficial to the teachers, pupils, students and the state at large.
In his remarks, SMEDAN State Manager, Mr Leke Babalola, urged the teachers to be committed to the training, adding that it would be a win win for all at the end.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has said that it is collaborating with the Niger Government to establish entrepreneurship clubs in schools across the state. Mr Olawale Fasanya, Director-General, SMEDAN, made this known in Minna, during a three-day capacity building for entrepreneurship teachers in public and private primary and secondary schools in the state. The programme is being implemented under the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme (MEP) known as the National-School Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP). “This programme is designed to enhance the capacity of the teachers who will in turn prepare the and convert them into entrepreneurs. “The teachers are expected to teach the about entrepreneurship skills and form them into entrepreneurship clubs in their various schools. “This is to enable continuity in the culture of entrepreneurship among them when they leave school or while in school,” he said. Fasanya who was represented by Mr Levi Anyikwa, Deputy Director, Partnership Coordination, SMEDAN, said that training of the trainers among the teachers was a continuous exercise. “After the capacity building of this teachers, there will be a stepping down to the schools at the grassroots,” he said. The Executive Director said that there was much anxiety and uncertainty among the Nigerian students about their future, because of dearth of opportunities in the employment market and their lack of entrepreneurial skills to venture into new businesses. “The World Bank recently predicted that there will be additional injection of 40 million people joining the economically active group by 2040 in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Given the most promising economic performance within the region, there is no way regular employment will cope with this number of people entering the unemployment market. “The imperative is that young people must be supported with education and training that promotes employment generation and wealth creation,” he said. He said that MEP was designed to engage the vibrant energy of students and youths and channel it into productive venture creation and management of their own businesses. “The programme is to provide access to functional and hands-on literacy and community service education to every primary and secondary student in Nigeria,” he said. Inaugurating the programme, Hajiya Hannatu Salihu, the State Commissioner for Education, promised that government would provide the necessary instructional materials to enable the trainees inculcate entrepreneurial skills in their students. Salihu said that 70 teachers were drawn from the public schools in the state for the training, while 30 came from the private schools. Hajiya Halima Musa, a trainee teacher from Central Primary School Kontagora, said that the exercise was interactive and impactful as it exposed them to various entrepreneurship education. Musa thanked the SMEDAN and the government for the gesture and promised to impact her pupils.
The Small, Medium, Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in partnership with the Kaduna State Government, on Tuesday began a two-day training of teachers of entrepreneurship in secondary and primary schools.
The training is on entrepreneurship in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the entrepreneurship teachers cut across the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
The capacity building for the teachers was under the SMEDAN’s Mind Shift Entrepreneurship (MEP) Programme.
The MEP is designed to engage vibrant students and youths, to channel their skills into productive venture creation and management of their own businesses.
In his address, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, said the programme was designed to enhance the capacity of the teachers, who would in turn, prepare the pupils, students and convert them into entrepreneurs.
Fasanya was represented by Dr. Yinka Fisher, Deputy Director, Partnership and Coordination Department of the agency.
He stressed that there was a lot of anxiety and uncertainty among Nigerian students about their future, following the dearth of opportunities in the employment market and their lack of entrepreneurial skills to go into new business ventures.
“The World Bank recently predicted that there will be additional injection of 40 million people joining the economically active group by 2040 in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Given the most promising economic performance within the region, there is no way regular employment will cope with this number of people entering the unemployment market,” he said.
Fasanya stated that the imperative was to support young people with education and training that would promote employment generation and wealth creation.
“The programme is to provide access to functional and hands-on entrepreneurship and financial literacy and community service education to every primary and secondary student in Nigeria.
“The MEP Programme is driven through two National School Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP) for primary and secondary schools and Tertiary Institution Entrepreneurship Development programme (TINEDEP).
“We have gotten the buy-in of the universities, polytechnics, Colleges of Education and regulatory authorities such as NUC, NBTE and NCCE have endorsed the programme,” Fasanya said.
He said entrepreneurship teachers must be entrepreneurs themselves, because one could not give what he did not have.
“The agency has carefully designed teacher’s manual to guide them on how to hand-hold the pupils and students towards entrepreneurial journey.
“The teacher’s manual is provided to assist entrepreneurship into the pupils and students, to guide and assist teachers in inculcating the culture and spirit of teaching of the business of entrepreneurship,” he said.
Fasanya urged the Kaduna government to take ownership of the programme and step it down to all primary and secondary schools in the state.
Also, Gov. Nasir El- Rufai commended SMEDAN for the MEP programme, noting that the training would enhance the teachers’ capacity on entrepreneurship, which would be impacted to the students.
The governor, represented by Dr. Yusuf Saleh, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Technology, said Nigeria’s population was on the increase on a daily basis and the nation, unable to afford employment for all graduates.
He said the state government was working on introducing technical education at the primary school level, to catch them at young age.
“We are in partnership with AKK gas pipeline project to see how we can train our young people on welding and fabrication; we are also in collaboration with agricultural organisation, among others, on training of our young people.
“We also organise trainings to promote what our medium, small and micro enterprises producers are doing,” he said.
The governor urged SMEDAN to partner with the newly-established Senior Secondary Schools Education Commission, to enable expansion of the programme to other states.
Also, the Principal of Rimi College, Mr. Andrew Dodo, said most students often had the mindsets and ambitions of working in big offices and government parastatals.
He said with the realities on ground, the students needed to be updated and trained on entrepreneurship skills, to make them self reliant and independent at the advent of population increase, which translated to job scarcity.
“We are, for long, supposed to be teaching our children on what they will contribute to our country; if they think otherwise, we will continue to be battling with unemployment as a nation,” Dodo said.
Mr Wale Fasanya, Acting Director-General (DG) of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), said the agency would continue to support agripreneurs in the country.
Fasanya stated this during the post Agri preneur training held in Katsina on Friday.
He explained that the programme would be focused on “One Local Government, One product (OLOP), Women in Self-employment (WISE-P), National Business Development Skills Initiative (NBSDI)”, among others.
According to him, the initiative is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to fighting unemployment through agriculture and its value chains.
He thanked Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, for his support for the growth of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
Earlier, the Katsina State Manager of SMEDAN, Malam Abdullahi Yusuf, thanked the agency for stepping down the post national training of the Agri-Preneurship Scheme (NATS) to the states.
The Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Prof. Adisa Bello, has described integrity in professional practice as a strong tool for development the nation and its economy. Bello said this at a retirement party organised in Abuja, for Mr David Ozigi, an engineer and a former director at the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN). The COREN registrar, who spoke on a topic “Character and Integrity in Professional Practice’’ said that strong adherence to it is both beneficiary to individuals and the nation a a whole Bello described professional integrity as the practice of maintaining ethical behaviour, strong adherence to moral and ethical principles and values such as honesty, honour, dependability and trustworthiness. He further outlined the importance of integrity in the work place to be beneficial to both the individual and the organisation. The registrar stated that the individual gains respect, trust and confidence of his peers and bosses, thus integrity in the workplace ultimately guarantees overall success. According to him, some of the characteristics of a man of character and integrity include valuing other people’s time, giving credit to where credit is due. “They are always honest and never take advantage of others. They give most people the benefit of doubt; they believe in others and trust others. Bello, therefore, described the retiring SMEDAN director as an epitome of character and integrity. He went down memory to 1985 when he had his first contact as an engineering student with Ozigi who was his lecturer at ATBU Bauchi, where he taught the course with the title Strength of Materials. He described Ozigi as a gentle man a lot of youths still look up to and need to emulate his character and integrity. Ozigi, according to him, has impacted positively on many people’s lives and he maintains his composure in virtually everywhere he is. In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr Tasiu Sa’ad-Wudil, said that the celebrator was a lecturer at ATBU Bauchi in the 80’s, and noted for hard work and strictness. Wudil also stated that as the Chief Examiner for the recruitment of new members into NSE Maitama chapter, he was very delighted to find out that the celebrator is a member of the chapter. Wudil prayed that God Almighty reward him abundantly for the positive virtues he had impacted on the lives of some of his former students. Pastor Joseph Seyi-Malomo, Chaplain of the Aso Chapel in his sermon titled “God does not believe in retirement but in completion of life call” drew his texts from Exodus 7:7; Deuteronomy 34:7 and 2 Timothy 1:9. “We gather to celebrate Mr Ozigi who has had a successful 35 years career as a civil servant. We should however, note that God does not believe in retirement. The Scripture says in 2 Timothy 1:9 that God saved us and called us to a Holy Calling. The Holy Calling is the totality of God’s Assignments in the life of a person. “Since Life is in phases and men are in sizes, this holy calling may take you through different vocations and service in your life. “The completion of one service may be called your retirement by the law and policy governing the career, but it is not retirement from the “holy calling” in the eyes of God”. He said that Moses at 120 years still served God diligently in spite of his old age. “Even at 120 years, the Bible says he wanted to do more particularly because his natural strength was not weak neither were his eyes dim. “So, God’s promise to Engr Ozigi and everyone here at this retirement in service is that once He has more assignment for you, your retirement from the current service is not the conclusion,” Malomo added. The occasion was chaired by retired Gen. Chris Garuba. Other dignitaries at the event included the Mother of the day, Dr Dere Awosika; Chairman Access Bank Plc represented by Mrs Ibukun Odusote, retired Federal Permanent Secretary. Others were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, represented by Mr Gulani Musa, Director, General Services and the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Amb. Mariam Katagum represented by Dr Ahmed Bashar. Also at occasion were a representative of the Kogi State Government, Mr Moses Okezie – Okafor, Director-General Energy Commission of Nigeria Prof. Eli Bala represented by Mr Nathaniel Omale and .ng)
Dr Dikko Radda, former Executive Director, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) on Wednesday in Abuja handed over the affairs of the agency to Mr Wale Fasanya.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Fasanya was the Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in SMEDAN.
It would be recalled that Radda staged an upset in the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary in Katsina after beating the three presumed favorites for the party’s ticket.
He commended SMEDAN staff for cordial working relationship in his six years as the Executive Director of the agency and urged them to sustain his legacies while striving to move the agency to higher height.
According to him, I have been in SMEDAN for six years and I must commend you for all the cooperation you have given me, we were able to run the agency smoothly.
“I appreciate all the love you have shown to me if you will keep SMEDAN as high as God would allow.
“Run the agency devoid of sentiments. The success of all of you is to leave a SMEDAN that we will all be proud.
“ Please take high all the legacies we have put in SMEDAN.
“We all shall leave this agency someday but what is important is that we leave a very good legacy for the agency,’’ Radda said.
He said that the desire to tackle the challenges facing Katsina State inspired him to contest to govern the state.
“I know the problems facing the state and someone must go there to address them.
“I feel very encouraged that if the Governor of Borno State Babagana Zulum could do it in Borno, I think someone in Katsina should be able to do that or even more.
On his part, Fasanya said all the staff of the agency would work as a family to sustain your legacies.
“We all know that within the period you were in this agency, you were a turn-around agent and we are witnesses to it.
“We know that you are a result oriented person and we believe you will get better results where you are going to,’’ he said.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) said in Abuja on Tuesday that it has so far registered three million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under its mass registration program.
The Director General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Radda, revealed this at the 27th ordinary farewell meeting of the agency's board of directors.
He said that the process intended to move MSMEs from informal businesses to formal businesses and stimulate the development of the subsector in a structured and more efficient manner.
Radda commended the board members for a harmonious working relationship during her four-year tenure.
He said that the registration process was possible thanks to the support received from the board.
Radda said that the agency introduced important projects and programs that have gone a long way in determining the future of MSMEs.
“One of the babies of the board is the creation of the mass registration exercise and the MSME market database, and they have done significantly well.
“In that, we were able to register MSMEs with the unique identification number of SMEDAN.
“Registration is easy, you can just go to the website www.smedanregister.com and you will be able to register, get your unique identification number and print your certificate.
“That has been a very good effort and to date we have been able to register more than three million MSMEs that have all the details of their location, the type of products and services they provide and their contacts.
“In case there is someone who needs any of your products or services or raw material, you can contact them directly with those MSMEs and this has been a very wonderful exercise,” he said.
Radda said that the agency received great support from the board to implement other projects aimed at stimulating the growth of MSMEs in the country.
He said he achieved a lot in the area of increasing agency funding, the National Business Development Initiative, One Local Government, One Product (OLOP), Talent Hunt and Mind Shift.
The head of SMEDAN said that the programs were able to create greater employment opportunities for youth and improve the livelihood of MSME operators.
While expressing optimism that the Federal Government would continue to support MSME development, Radda prayed that the new board members would provide similar support.
He said the agency hoped to have another board that would still support, encourage and maintain a good working relationship with management and staff for economic development.
Earlier, the President of the SMEDAN Governing Board, Otunba Olufemi Pedro, described the implementation of the massive registration program for MSMEs as an important start.
“We are all aware that the MSME landscape is dynamic and full of challenges.
“One of the core problems that the development of the sub-sector has faced so far is the lack of accurate, usable and up-to-date data on MSMEs in Nigeria, which could be useful to both local and international stakeholders,” he said. .
Pedro said that the massive registration program was an initiative to develop a database that would facilitate the registration of formal and informal companies in the country.
According to him, nearly three million MSMEs, from micro to medium enterprises from all sectors and geographical locations in Nigeria, have registered with the portal with full details and type of business.
The Small and Medium Development Agency (SMEDAN) of Nigeria has adopted the "One Local Government, One Product" (OLOP) program in the agricultural value chain with a view to developing the country's economy. Dr. Dikko Radda, Director General (DG) of the Agency, stated this at the official signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Microfice Banks and Candidate-Beneficiaries under the Program in Katsina on Monday. Radda said that OLOP was adopted by promoting the development of at least one product of agricultural value identified per local government area in the country. He said that the objective was to add value to the raw material identified for the brand and be certified for import and export. According to him, the main objective of OLOP is to improve human capacity through technological and official support for efficient and viable cooperative enterprises. “This will allow us to improve the productivity and quality of our products to achieve competitiveness to meet national and international standards. “I am pleased to inform you that the Agency will support 199 cooperatives/companies in 199 local government areas under the OLOP 2021/2022 intervention. “Some 364 of the 774 LGAs in the country have benefited from the scheme since the intervention from 2016 to 2020. "Around 212 LGAs were covered in 2021 according to our estimate, leaving a balance of 198 to be covered in 2022," it added. The Director General noted that President Muhammad Buhari was committed to fighting unemployment through the development of agriculture and the products of its value chain. He praised Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari for his unwavering support for the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the state. Malam Ibrahim Muhammad, responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, praised SMEDAN for the initiative, noting that they would not misuse any opportunity given to them to develop the economy.