The Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) yesterday, in Kaduna, expressed willingness to collaborate with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in the areas of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) development, with the aim of creating employment opportunities for the teaming unemployed persons across the country.
The Director-General, SMEDAN Alhaji Bature Umar Masari stated this when he led other management team of the agency on a courtesy call on the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Santuraki at the Kaduna Head Office.
Alhaji Masari, in his address, disclosed that, as part of the desire of the agency in the implementation of the national development enterprise programme, the government intends to create about 3.5 million jobs between last year, when the implementation started, and the end of 2015.
He said the agency intends to achieve such expectations by sensitizing Nigerians and forming them into cooperative bodies and also encourage individuals to key into the government’s enterprise creation programmes, as encapsulated in the enterprise development.
According to the SMEDAN DG, “If the program is properly managed, it can take care of all the unemployment problems the country is suffering from, that is why we are here in our efforts to reach out to financial institutions to enable Nigerians access funding available for agriculture.
Responding, the BOA Managing Director, who said the collaboration being sought by SMEDAN was a welcomed development, also informed that the BOA is willing to collaborate with SMEDAN particularly in the Grow and Earn More (GEM) programme targeted at women in agriculture with a loan up to 1 million naira, and the Youth in Agricultural Revolution in Nigeria (YARN) programme.