A training programme meant to sensitize Directors, selected Head Office staff, Zonal Coordinators , some state officers and selected Business Development Service Providers (BDSP) of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN on the Justification objectives and operational methodology, selection criteria conditionality’s , stake holders deliverables of the Conditional Grant Scheme, CGS was held in Abuja on Thursday 18th January 2018 with the Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria SMEDAN Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda in attendance.In his opening remarks, Dr. Radda noted that the essence of the training programme is to ensure the staff of the Agency understands the aims and objectives of the Conditional Grant Scheme. He said the idea of commencing the Conditional Grant Scheme emanated from the Agency’s retreat held in Kaduna in 2016. During one of the brainstorming sessions at the retreat, the idea of creating a platform whereby micro enterprises can have access to affordable finance was muted and agreed upon. This idea metamorphosed into the CGS programme. Considering that micro enterprises constitute a majority of enterprises in Nigeria, a programme targeting this sub-sector is very relevant and apt.
He said there was no way micro enterprises can grow if they are not formalized adding this cannot be done without incentives, and it is the responsibility of the Agency to formalize these small businesses hence the introduction of the Conditional Grant Scheme CGS.
He said the Conditional Grant Scheme was sorely meant to provide grants to small businesses in promoting them and also giving them the platform to create more wealth and eradicate poverty in the country.
He told the staff that part of the conditions for accessing the funds are the Agency will register the existing businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission, Open Bank accounts for them, provide micro insurance and provide Business Development Service.
He said it was mandatory for BDSPs of the programme to work with the state managers of the Agency and that the selection process for beneficiaries should be transparent and orderly. We want the resources to reach each ward and local government councils in the pilot States across the country.
On his expectations of the programme, he said there will be a performance Award to reward success/hard work and to encourage high performance from other enterprises. Only 10% of the high performing enterprises will benefit from this award. In addition, to encourage human capital development, a medical doctor will be supported to establish a health center in the Local Government Area with a loan of N2.0 million.
The Director General added that the objective of conditional grants scheme is to enhance competitiveness towards meeting the nation regional and global standard.
Furthermore, he stated that moving micro enterprises businesses from informal to formal sector to boost up Nigeria economy