The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, (SMEDAN) Dr Dikko Umaru Radda has enjoined staff of the Agency to re dedicate themselves to the task of contributing their quota towards the development and promotion of MSMEs in the country. He made this assertion during his familiarisation visit to the Agency’s offices in Lagos on Monday; Dr Radda noted that the Agency was undergoing restructuring with a view to providing good service delivery to Nigerians.
At the State office in Matori, Dr Radda was briefed on the activities , success and challenges of the Lagos office , The State Coordinator Mr Adeyinka Fisher told the Director General that they were able to train several entrepreneurs and assist many of them access to market and finance, adding that the state office was fully involved in the Agency’s collaboration with the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria,( PFN) Covenant University, and the Nigeria Prison Service programme and Glo a mobile communication outfit as well as synergising with the entrepreneurs under the umbrella of Association Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria , (AMEN).
Mr Fisher appealed to the new SMEDAN boss to look into their challenges and ensure the provision of working tools to get the best out of the staff of the Agency. Responding the Director General Dr Dikko Umaru Radda commended the efforts of staff of the state office for their doggedness and commitment to work despite the challenges they were facing and promised to look into their complaints.At the South West Zonal Office of SMEDAN in Surelere , the Director General was conducted round the offices by the Zonal Coordinator, Mr Gbenga Ogundeji who also enumerated the challenges the zonal office was facing in terms of lack of sufficient working tools, and called on the Director General look into them, as it has committed and dedicated staff who if given the necessary support would ensure the agency actualises its key objectives of developing and promoting MSMEs in the south west geo political zone.
Dr Radda in his response thanked the Zonal Coordinator and his team for the warm reception accorded him and his entourage, he hinted them of the onerous task ahead, which is keying into the present administration’s change agenda, he said SMEDAN has a big role to play in the area of job and wealth creation, adding it was in realisation of this strong fact that he convened a strategic management retreat in Kaduna where a roadmap for the agency was designed. ‘’We are going to reposition SMEDAN, and for us to achieve this we also have to build the capacity of all our staff, I believe in Human capital development, that is the key to achieving our mandate, we are going to look into your welfare, in fact the retreat we held brought to the fore key issues such as amending the law establishing the agency and several other issues that would put us on the right track ‘’ he stressed.
The DG urged staff of the Agency to brace up, as there is no time to waste. ‘’The Nigerian MSMEs this time around must feel our impact’’, He also assured them that he would look into all their needs.
At the Industrial Development Centre ( IDC) Ibeshe in Ikorodu which was his last port of call, the Director General , Dr Dikko Umaru Radda was conducted round the facility by the Centre Coordinator Mrs Chinyere Nwoke. He said he was in the centre to see things for himself and make a rational assessment. He expressed displeasure over the encroachment of the centre’s land in Ikorodu and wondered why lands belonging to the federal government should be trampled upon by individuals without recourse to laws of the land.
Dr Radda noted that the Agency would do its best to reclaim areas within the centre that was not encroached and promised to take the issue up with the Minister of Trade Industry and investment. ’Almost all our IDCs lands are being encroached, this is not fair, these are the properties of the federal government of Nigeria and they are supposed to assist micro small businesses, they are incubation centres that will go a long way in creating thousands of jobs, we can’t allow this, we will take this up with the appropriate authorities’’ he assured.
Turning to the staff of the IDC, Dr Radda said the present government was determined to see how a new nation would emerge and urged the staff to put in more effort in actualising this dream. He admonished them to be steadfast and do more to keep the centre working, as he was determined to build their capacities and look into the problems facing them in the centre.
Dr Radda was accompanied on the familiarisation tour by the Director, Engineering and Technology Department Engineer Abu Ozigi, Director, Strategic Partnership and Liaison, Dr Friday Okpara and Director, Policy Advocacy and Coordination Mrs Justina David. Others on the Director General’s team are Mr Monday Ewans a Deputy Director in the Policy , Advocacy and Coordination Department and Mallam Nura Tela, the Special Assistant to the Director General of SMEDAN.