The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, has called for stronger collaboration with all SME Development Agencies in the country to speed development of the sub sector and provide job opportunities. Dr Radda, who made the call in Jos on Monday 29th January 2018, at the opening of the 2018 Management retreat and strategy session of SMEDAN noted that unless fruitful collaborations between SMEDAN and other SME Development Agencies are consummated, the SME sub sector would continue to lag behind in driving the Nigerian economy despite its huge potentials
He appreciated the Plateau State Government for setting up the state’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (PLASMEDA) and making it a model for youth engagement and employment.The SMEDAN Chief Executive further said that with the Plateau experience in effective collaboration with SMEDAN, state governments have golden opportunities to address youth unemployment.
“It is heartwarming to say that Plateau State Government was one of the few states to establish an Agency for MSMEs development in Nigeria and one of the few States that hosted the Nationwide MSMEs Clinic and launched the One Stop Shop”. He added. Commenting on the Jos Retreat, Dr Radda said that the retreat was the first attempt to bring Management staff, Zonal coordinators and all SMEDAN state office Managers together to brainstorm on how to move the Agency forward with the theme Re- Engineering for Effectiveness and Efficiency.
He said that highly sought after resource persons were invited to help dissect and diagnose the system and prescribe working solution that would indeed enhance the Agency’s ability to deliver on her mandate effectively and efficiently.
The Director General also announced that a new Department of Agriculture and Extension Services has been approved for the Agency by the Head of Service.
He said that the new Department will boost the capacity of the Agency to provide Business Development Service that is specific to this focal Sector of the Nigeria Economy.
He enjoined all staff to come forward with suggestions and opinions that can build systems and structures around.
Dr. Radda also added that the Agency welcomes innovative ideas that will sporadically facilitate the Agency’s delivery of quality services and invariably build a stronger MSME Sector.
The Chief Host and Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong In his address at the occasion commended SMEDAN for its efforts to develop the MSME sector in Nigeria, stating that the collaboration between SMEDAN and the Plateau State Micro Finance Development Agency PLASMEDA, was apt as both Agencies stands to benefit from the outcome of the retreat.
The Governor recalled that upon Radda’s assumption as DG/CEO of SMEDAN, he was the first Governor in the country to visit SMEDAN, adding the visit was borne out of the passion to join hands with the Agency to bring out to the front burner the unemployment challenges facing the youth of Plateau State.
He noted that his administration introduced the three dimensional approach to wealth creation particularly for Women, Youth, and the people with disability and they are Employment, Empowerment and Engagement.
The state government, he said established the Plateau State Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency, PLASMEDA, which is primarily saddled with the responsibility of seeing to the actualization of the 3ES of his government.
Governor Lalong said that the enabling environment provided by his administration has yielded so many positive results among which is appointment of PLASMEDA by Bank of Industry (BOI) to serve as an agent for the disbursement of Market Money under the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, GEEP, which over 5000 MSMEs in the state have benefited.
He also noted that the State SME Agency also launched the Simon Lalong Empowerment Scheme SLEMS, to reduce poverty in Plateau state adding so far over, three thousand Women and Youth including people living with disability have benefited from the Entrepreneurship Training Programme as well as the hosting of the MSME Clinic in Jos.
Other Dignitaries that attended the opening ceremony of the retreat are Representatives of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Representatives of Director General of the Industrial Training Fund ITF, Representative of Director General Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru, and some members of the Plateau state executive council as well as some highly sought after resource persons and motivational speakers.