SMEDAN Committed To Human Capital Development, Capacity Building – DG

SMEDAN Committed To Human Capital Development, Capacity Building – DG

By Mariam Sanni, Abuja

The Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Umar Radda, has assured the commitment of the agency in providing capacity Building and human capital development.

Radda who gave this assurance during his remark at the closing ceremony of Agri- Business Development and Empowerment Programme (ADEP), in Kastina explained that this will procure the required mind-set, which inculcates agriculture in programme beneficiaries as a business – worthy of pride, devotion and diversification.

 ‘’The focus is on providing capacity building or human capital development, with associated business development services (BDS) to existing participants of existing Federal/State Government agribusiness initiatives as well as youth start-ups.

‘’This will procure the required mind-set, which inculcates agriculture in programme beneficiaries as a business – worthy of pride, devotion and diversification. We thus key into Mr President’s vision of raising 100 million persons out of poverty over the next four years.

According to him, the training is aimed towards encouraging the target beneficiaries to embrace agri-business development, as a viable business option; strengthen entrepreneurship skills of potential/existing beneficiaries of agri-business development schemes; facilitate networking/exchanges amongst beneficiary farmers and their peers for value addition and inclusive value chain development as well as encourage the diversification of the economy away from crude oil, using agriculture.

He stated that the empowerment component of the intervention is especially geared at meeting the latter focus.

‘’Consequently, as part of our engagement here today, the sixteen (16) agribusiness cooperatives from this intervention in Katsina and Batagarawa, will each receive cash grants of about two hundred and eighty eight thousand naira, amounting to a total of four million, six hundred and twenty thousand naira (N4,620,000=) only,’’ he said. 

While highlighting some of the mandates of SMEDAN, he noted that the agency is focused on promoting, facilitating development programmes, instruments, support services to accelerate the development and modernization of MSMEs operations.

He added that it’s also serving as a vanguard for rural industrialization, poverty reduction, job creation and enhanced livelihoods, linking MSMEs to internal and external sources of finance, appropriate technology and technical skills as well as large enterprises.

Also, working in contact with other institutions to create a good enabling environment for business in general and MSMEs activities in particular.

Further speaking, he reiterated that globally, MSMEs are recognized as engines of socio-economic transformation, and have become well established in both developing and developed economies.

Radda stressed that they offer opportunities to drive jobs and wealth creation as well as income redistribution within society, which further unveil them as a distinctive mainstay of the economy that requires befitting attention.

His words, ‘This relevance of the sub-sector is probably better driven home by the following emergent facts from the NBS-SMEDAN National Survey of MSME2017,which reported an estimated 41,543,028 MSMEs in Nigeria, contributing 49.78% to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employing  76.5% of the workforce (or about  59.6 million persons)  and accounting for 7.64 % of exports.

‘’ The expectation of SMEDAN is to drive more output from the sub-sector with more careful attention to resource deployment and proper management.

‘’In July, 2018, SMEDAN created a new Agribusiness Development and Extension (AD&E) Department as the fulfillment of a long-held desire to enlarge the windows for delivering its core mandate to the Nigerian people.

‘’Consequently, the AD&E Department now focuses exclusively on agri-business development, in line with the emphasis of the current Federal Government. Its mandate includes Rural Industrialization, Post-harvest Support Services, and Collaborating with Agric.

‘’Research & Mech. Centres, Designing, Packaging and Promoting Agro-related Cottage and MSMEs Industrial Projects, Linking Agro-businesses to Market/Finance, and Extension Services, including training, counseling, mentoring and routine on-site visits.

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