In continuation of its empowerment Programme to promote small-scale enterprises, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has empowered 90 artisans with working equipment in Bauchi state.
The Agency had earlier on given a 5-day advanced training to the artisans selected from across the state based on their trades and skills before resettling them with the working equipment to enable them to be self-reliant.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the training and resettlement exercise held in Bauchi on Friday, the Director General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya, said that the gesture was to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in a most practical way.
Olawale Fasanya further explained that the programme was carried out under the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) of the Agency in line with the objectives of establishing it.
He highlighted the trades that were covered in the training as tailoring, welding and fabrication, as well as laundry.
The DG who was represented by the North-East Zonal Coordinator, Mahmood Dogwa, said that the programme was designed to provide entrepreneurship, vocational skills and empowerment materials to fill the capacity gap of the youths.
According to him, “The NBSDI enhances youth engagement in productive ventures thereby ensuring they earn income through filling the artisan gap in Nigeria”.
The DG added that “The Initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well-trained young artisans leading to a reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries”.
“It seeks to pursue a drastic reduction in dependency poverty as most of the out-of-school youths who still rely on stipends from parents are empowered to become self-reliant,” he said.
According to him, the expected outcome of the exercise includes improved business management practice, improved service provision by trained artisans, and increased access to finance, equipment and other business resources.
Others he said include improved satisfaction level of customers by artisans through improved service delivery as well as increased patronage of Nigerian artisans.
“This is purely a programme being promoted by the agency to give educational training to entrepreneurs and at the end of the programme, each and every participant will be given equipment to start his enterprise”, he further said.
Olawale Fasanya stressed that “My message to the participants is that they should see themselves as very fortunate and should utilise what is being given to them and the knowledge acquired judiciously so that by this time next year, we’d be proud of them that they have also produced another set of entrepreneurs.”
Also speaking, Rabiu Adamu, one of the participants who spoke on behalf of others, said he was trained in welding and appreciated SMEDAN and the Federal Government for the opportunity given to them.
He promised that the equipment given to them would be judiciously utilised for the right purpose.
Rabiu Adamu also said that the beneficiaries would impart the knowledge acquired to more people in their various communities.
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Skills acquisition: SMEDAN empowers 90 artisans with working equipment in Bauchi