By SAM JONES
YENAGOA (Sundiata Post) – The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has trained 90 persons through The National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) in Bayelsa State.
The 90 trainees who were part of 3,330 entrepreneurs who underwent five days of intensive training in different vocations in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja were presented with stater packs at the closing ceremony on Thursday.
They received grinding, washing and industrial sewing machines to empower them in food processing, laundry and fashion design.
Mr. Olawale Fasanya, SMEDAN Director-General, who was represented by Mr. Uboboso Agilo, Bayelsa State Manager, described the nano, micro, small and medium enterprises (NMSMEs) sub-sector as critical to the Nigerian economy.
His words: “As you may be aware, the Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NMSMEs) sub-sector is a critical sub-sector in the Nigerian economy.
“They collectively account for a majority of the enterprises in Nigeria and also account for the highest number of jobs created in the economy.
*The most recent National MSMEs Survey of 2020 revealed that there are 39.6 million MSMEs employing 62.5 million persons (80.2% of labour force) and contributing 46.31% and 6.21% to nominal GDP and exports respectively.”
Fasanya said the NBSDI was designed “to provide entrepreneurship skills, vocational skills and provision of empowerment materials (equipment) to fill the capacity gap of the youths.”
Mr. Uche Lawrence, SMEDAN enterprise officer, resource person and coordinator of the Bayelsa NBSDI, said the participants were involved in a rigorous training process that included six modules such as development of business plans, access to finance and business registration among others..
On if five days was enough for the participants to get the skills they needed, he said they were expected to build on the skills they had acquired.
According to him, the participants adhered to the rules of engagement while the resource persons did their best to make the programme as impactful as possible.
Lawrence disclosed that SMEDAN usually carried out assessment through followup programmes where they take general survey, pick those doing well and assist them.
Some of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Joan Akuta made a presentation on behalf of food processing department, Mr. Clement Osagie for laundry and Ms. Ogionwo Blessing for fashion design expressing appreciation to SMEDAN for the training and empowerment.
High point of the event was the presentation of certificates, starter kits and allowances to the participants.