SMEDAN Director General, Alhaji Muhammad Nadada Umar
By Emmanuel Ugwu
Abia State is poised to experience explosion of new businesses following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) and Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC) for the development of small and medium enterprises, especially in the oil communities.
Abia is reputed to be home to large number of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the past but the Director General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Muhammad Nadada Umar, said that the recent survey indicated that the situation has changed hence the need to provide the catalyst to boost business development.
He said it had become very necessary for Nigeria to experience exponential growth of small and medium scale businesses as the inability to grow businesses was already having adverse effect on every sector of the economy.
According to the SMEDAN boss, development of SMEs would lead to balanced development which would ensure peace and harmony in the country as the emerging businesses would be absorbing the new additions to the nation’s ever increasing population
He therefore noted that the MoU, between the two agencies, has provided a platform for the introduction and establishment of frameworks and strategies that would ensure the development and growth of SMEs, adding that “the platform for industrialisation of Abia State is set”.
The SMEDAN DG explained that the policy which would be implemented through the ASOPADEC would go a long way in “intervening and redefining positively the living conditions of the catchment communities of the oil producing areas”.
According to him, SMEDAN would specifically target Abia youths and indigent persons of the state, especially those from the oil bearing communities, thereby fighting poverty in line with the transformation agenda of the federal government.
“This strategy is designed to stimulate in the youths the desire to start thinking of how to kick-start their own enterprises and eventually provide vocational skills acquisition, entrepreneurship development training, and soft access to funding,” he said, adding that industrial clusters and parks would spring up across Abia.