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The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Umaru Radda has assured Nigerian women entrepreneurs of the Agency's commitment to fully involve them in the agency's activities particularly as it relates to capacity building. He made this remark when The President of African Women Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP) Mrs. Zainab M Jaji led other executives to congratulate him on his appointment and introduced the

association to him. The Director General thanked the executives of AWEP for the visit, adding that they were the first group to pay him a visit since he assumed office as the DG of SMEDAN. He also stated that, they came at the right time when he was\ receiving briefs from the Directors and Heads of departments in order to reposition the Agency. He said their visit was timely as they came at a time the agency is repositioning itself to achieve its core mandate. ''We want to assist the womenfolk, it is very important because when you empower a woman you have empowered the society''

Dr Radda stated that both the mandate of the Agency and that of the Association was similar, he said while SMEDAN revolves around both male and female, the Association deals with only female. He assured them that the Agency will address the challenges and try to strategize to restore order in the MSME sector so as to carry everybody along. He reiterated his determination to support Nigerian women in building their capacity; "we shall work towards making them have skills indrafting business plans and other basic knowledge of becoming successful entrepreneurs". He assured them of the agency's readiness to work with AWEP and called on them to make their inputs on how to move the Agency forward. He informed AWEP that the 2016 budget captured a programme targeted at market women worth 60 billion naira, the fund he said is domiciled in the office of the Vice president , ''we will make sure women benefit from it''.

Earlier, the National President Mrs Zainab Jaji congratulated the Director General on his appointment and briefed him on the aims, objectives and mission of the Association; she said the main objective of the Association is to make sure women benefit from the economic space. She also made a brief on the relationship between the Agency\ and the Association. She craved the Agency's indulgence to support Nigerian women on entrepreneurship training, capacity building and also made a suggestion on incubator training on business plan. They also stressed the need for the Association to know its boundaries in the Agency's Mandate to enable it abide to the rules.



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