From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
In a bid to reduce the unemployment rate in the country, Kaduna State Government has entered into a partnership with Small and Medium Enterprise Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) for the establishment of business support centre to provide support services and capacity building to MSMEs, just as it has consummated an agreement to conduct Graduate Vocational and Entrepreneurship Skills Training (GVEST) to build capacity of 1,000 graduates expected to create 5,000 jobs in the state.
Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero disclosed this yesterday while declaring open a 3-day opportunity exhibition and trade fair for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for the North West region organized by SMEDAN holding in Kaduna.
Governor Yero said, as a deliberate policy, the government has established the Kaduna State industrialization and micro credit management board as a special purpose vehicle for micro delivery to support the growth of SMEs in the state.
Represented by the director of industries in the ministry of commerce and industries Mr Mamman E. Danka, Yero urged the participating entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunity of the fair and exhibition in ensuring the sustained development of the SMEs sub-sector in their respective states.
“just recently, the government has entered into a matching fund partnership with two major development banks, the BOI and BOA and created a pool of funds in the sum of 2 billion naira to be disbursed to MSMEs as micro loans as well as for the development of agriculture in the state” Yero disclosed.
The representative of the director general SMEDAN, a deputy director in the agency Alhaji Shehu Sada urged the participants to take advantage of the exhibition/trade fair to showcase their skills, and also interact with one another and build their capacities through idea sharing among other opportunities.
He assured that the agency is doing all it can to encourage entrepreneurs in all ways possible, and further urged all the entrepreneurs to tap into government policies aimed at bettering their lives and businesses.
Speaking earlier, the consultant Hajia Safiya Adamu welcomed the participants, stressing that the exhibition and trade fair is for entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and skills, and also create enabling market environment for them.
She said, the fair will also introduce them to financial opportunities that could be assessed from relevant agencies, such that will help strengthen their businesses and make them employers of labours, and reduce the rate of unemployment in the society.
Participating entrepreneurs commended the opportunity availed them by SMEDAN to showcase their businesses and talents.