VP, Trade Minister Others Unveils SMEDAN New Headquarters
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) Wednesday reaffirmed its dedication to fostering the growth of small businesses in Nigeria with the official inauguration of its headquarters in Abuja
The facility boasts innovative work hubs and common facility centres equipped with cutting-edge technological tools, including industrial sewing machines and woodwork machinery.
The event also marked the launch of a fresh round of the Conditional Grant Scheme, an initiative designed to empower SMEs by providing grants with the condition that recipients employ at least one person. This approach addresses both the challenges of unemployment and limited access to finance.
Hosted by Charles Odii, @TheCharlesOdii, the Director-General of the agency, the event was graced by notable dignitaries, including Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, Minister of State for Youth Ayodele Olawande, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industries Senator Adenigba Francis Fadahunsi, Chairman of the House Committee on SMEs, Hon. Mansur Manu Soro, and other senior presidential aides.
Explaining the rationale behind the work hubs,Charles Odii emphasized that the agency seeks to provide discounted access to these facilities, tailored to empower small business owners. This initiative enables them to enhance production quality, fostering growth and sustainability within the MSME sector.
He said, “Our mission is to support the growth of MSMEs in the country by facilitating timely and adequate access to the resources they need, including finance, markets, and capacity building. This edifice not only helps us achieve this goal by enhancing the productivity of our staff but also delivers a significant local impact through work hubs and facility centers, ensuring entrepreneurs in the city can produce high-quality products while enjoying access to tools, power, and training on branding.”
In his address, Vice President Kashim Shettima, who led the launch of another phase of the Conditional Grant Scheme by issuing checks to cohorts, commended SMEDAN for its pivotal role in advancing economic development through MSME empowerment. He emphasized the commitment of the Tinubu administration to create an enabling environment for small businesses to thrive, underscoring the importance of technological advancements in boosting productivity and competitiveness.
He stated, “The empowerment of SMEs, SMEDAN’s primary objective, is a crucial piece in the mission to enhance the prosperity of our people. These enterprises not only stand as the bedrock of our society but also reflect the direction the government is headed and the velocity with which we are heading there.”
Doris Anite, the Minister of Trade and Investment, praised SMEDAN for being a pivotal force in driving economic empowerment, job creation, and industrial development across the nation. She described the conditional grant scheme as a strategic intervention aimed at providing financial support to deserving nano and micro-enterprises, ensuring they have the necessary resources to scale and contribute meaningfully to the nation’s economic prosperity.
Also present at the event were Evelyn Ngige, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Executives of Parastatals under the Ministry, Mr. Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation & MSMEs, and Fatima Umar, the SSA to the President on Women Affairs.