Skills acquisition: Youths commend SMEDAN’s empowerment programme

“I can confidently tell you that what SMEDAN has done to me and other beneficiaries here today is very encouraging at boosting our businesses and contributing to growth of the Nigerian economy”.

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Some youths and beneficiaries of skills acquisition programme of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) on Friday commended the agency for its empowerment programme.

They gave the commendation shortly after receiving their starter packs at the closing ceremony of a one-week empowerment programme in Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 90 youths both men and women received washing machines and pressing iron for laundry services, while industrial sewing machines and accessories, among others, were given to participants in fashion and leatherworks.

Miss Memunat Umar, a fashion designer from Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi, described the empowerment programme as “apt and encouraging in stabilising her in the fashion business.

“I can confidently tell you that what SMEDAN has done to me and other beneficiaries here today is very encouraging at boosting our businesses and contributing to growth of the Nigerian economy”.

Also, another beneficiary, Abdulkadir Muhammed, a leather shoe maker from Lokoja Local Government Area, said “this empowerment will go a long way at enabling me to expand my business by employing two more persons in my shop.

“I hereby wish to thank SMEDAN and the Federal Government for this gesture.

“As beneficiaries, we will definitely make good use of the machines and accessories given to us to boost our businesses and better our lives as well as contribute our quota to the nation’s development”.

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Earlier, the SMEDAN Director-General, Mr Olawale Fasanya, said that the programme, which was under the National Business Skills Development Initiative, was targeted at empowering young entrepreneurs towards developing the economy.

Fasanya, who was represented by the North-Central Coordinator of SMEDAN, Mrs Charity Abuh, said, “We have been here training and empowering the beneficiary for the past one week in both entrepreneurship and skills development.

“We have chosen three-skill trade — Laundering, Leatherwork and Fashion design — and we have selected 90 participants across the three senatorial districts of Kogi.

“The main purpose is to enhance the capacity of the participants and help them with a starter pack in the three skills to enable the participants to contribute their quota positively to the growth and development of the economy of Kogi and the nation at large”.

Fasanya, who said that the programme was an annual one, advised the beneficiaries to make good use of the equipment given to them, “because we shall follow-up to ensure diligent compliance”.

The Training Manager, Industrial Skills Training Centre, Lokoja, Mr Moses Onuche, urged the participants to start utilising their starter pack since no amount of capital would be too small to start any business.

Onuche implored the beneficiaries to help government to create more jobs to reduce the unemployment rate in the country saying: “It is the organised private sector that drives the economy of any nation”.

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