The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) announced the initiation of a conditional grant program to bolster small businesses into becoming job creators.
This development was disclosed in a statement by SMEDAN on Wednesday at the unveiling of its new headquarters in Abuja.
The initiative is designed to fortify SMEs by offering grants contingent on the condition that each beneficiary hires at least one individual.
SMEDAN expressed that this program aims to enhance financial accessibility and tackle the issue of unemployment.
At the inauguration, Doris Uzoka-Anite, the minister of industry, trade, and investment, lauded the conditional grant scheme as a critical move to offer financial aid to deserving nano and micro enterprises, enabling them to expand and substantially contribute to the country’s economic growth.
Uzoka-Anite also praised SMEDAN’s key role in fostering economic empowerment, job creation, and industrial growth nationwide.
Regarding the headquarters, SMEDAN highlighted its features including innovative workspaces, common facility centers with state-of-the-art technology, industrial sewing machines, and woodworking equipment.
Vice President Kashim Shettima, leading the launch, commended SMEDAN for its significant contribution to economic progress through MSME empowerment.
Shettima emphasized President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s dedication to creating a supportive environment for small businesses, and the crucial role of technological advancements in enhancing productivity and competitiveness.
He remarked, “Empowering SMEs, a primary focus of SMEDAN, is vital in our journey towards national wealth enhancement. These enterprises are not only foundational to our society but also mirror the government’s direction and the pace at which we are progressing.”
Charles Odii, the director-general of SMEDAN, mentioned the agency’s aim to offer affordable access to these facilities, tailored to assist small business owners.
“This plan enables them to improve product quality, promoting growth and long-term viability in the MSME sector,” Odii stated. “Our objective is to support MSME growth in the nation by facilitating timely and adequate resource access, including finance, markets, and skill enhancement.
“This building not only aids us in achieving this goal by increasing our staff’s productivity but also makes a significant local impact through workspaces and facility centers, ensuring entrepreneurs in the city can produce high-quality products with access to tools, power, and brand-building training.”
Also present at the event were Ayodele Olawande, minister of state for youth; Adenigba Fadahunsi, chairman of the senate committee on industries; and Mansur Soro, chairman of the house committee on SMEs.