- SMEDAN Signs Pact on Job Creation
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with five clusters for the pilot of its One Local Government One Product (OLOP) initiative.
At the signing, its Director-General, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, said pilot studies, conducted with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) support in Kano and Niger states, revealed that the initiative has the potential to turn around the economy, especially in job creation, agribusiness, and to reduce rural-urban migration.
He noted that the OLOP initiative is dear to SMEDAN, adding that the success of the pilot run will determine the future of the programme.
He told the beneficiaries that their performance was key in determining the level of support the Federal Government would continue to give to OLOP.
Radda said: “It is also with a sense of fulfillment that I am letting you know that SMEDAN has been working assiduously on your behalf to realise the objectives of the Projects.”
He said some of the pre-and post- expectations and deliverables of the programme included sensitisation and needs assessment, entrepreneurship development, plant layout and joint identification of equipment and the provision of the type of equipment needed for their development, which was already mutually agreed between the clusters and SMEDAN.
Radda stressed that the agency has provided working capital to enable them run their businesses as well as provide mitigation of the interest rate and 30 per cent of the total loan portfolio.
He added that the banks would grant them three months’ moratorium to enable them stabilise before they start the repayment of the interest free loan, while the agency expect repayment within 18 months.
He solicited the cooperation of the beneficiaries in interest-free loan repayment.
“This is, particularly, important as your performance will either encourage or discourage further participations by the banks. I am positive that you will all be role models,” he said.
Radda assured the beneficiaries that SMEDAN would continue to support all entrepreneurs by providing the required information and training to them.
He urged them to take advantage of the opportunities being presented by this programme, saying the multiplier effect of this initiative on the economy could not be overestimated in view of the recession in the economy and the drive of the Federal Government to enhance the competitiveness of the non-oil sector.