SMEDAN Trains 11,000 Artisans, Youths

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By James Emejo in Abuja

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) said it intends to generate 444,000 direct jobs and an additional 1,776,000 indirect jobs from the training of 300 youths from each state of the federation for the next three years under its National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI).

It noted that 11,000 artisans and youths had been trained across the country in the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory within the year.

The youths, during the five days training programme, were trained on personal and business visioning, business plan development, identification of business opportunities, selling and marketing strategies, accessing business finance, customer care and legal and regulatory issues.

A statement by the Head, Corporate Affairs Unit, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, further noted that the NBSDI programme was designed to support the entrepreneurship component of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), a tripartite intervention by SMEDAN, ITF, and BOI to fill the capacity gap of the youths.

The programme was designed to absorb the graduates of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF)’s vocational skills training programme.

The initiative had been designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well trained young artisans thereby leading to reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries.

The Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion Department, SMEDAN, Mr. Monday Ewans, pointed out that the scheme focuses on providing entrepreneurship and business management skills to the trained artisans so that they can sustain their businesses over a longer period of time.

According to him, the training programme seeks to pursue a drastic reduction in dependency poverty as most of the out of school youths who still rely on stipends from parents are empowered to become self-reliant.

He said the agency developed and delivered need-based entrepreneurship training curriculum that would help the participants to prepare bankable business plans which SMEDAN would submit and follow up with BoI and the CBN in respect of having access to loans under the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme.