The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has empowered no fewer than 90 youths with skills acquisition in Kogi.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the one-week empowerment on Friday in Lokoja, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, said the programme was under the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI).
Fasanya, who was represented by the North Central Coordinator of SMEDAN, Mrs Charity Abuh, said the NBSDI is one of SMEDAN’s numerous programmes targeted at empowering entrepreneurs.
”We have been here training and empowering the beneficiary for the past week in both entrepreneurship and skills development.
”We have chosen three skills’ trade, which include laundering, leatherwork and fashion design, and we have selected 90 participants across the three senatorial districts of Kogi state,” he said.
He noted that all the states of the federation including FCT are participating in the empowerment programme and entrepreneurship development.
According to him, the purpose is to enhance the capacity of the participants and help them with a starter pack in the three skills.
He said the empowerment would enable the participants to contribute their quota positively to the economy of Kogi and the nation at large.
He said the programme is organised annually which started last year, promising that 2023 will be greater than 2022.
Fasanya advised the beneficiaries to make good use of the equipment given to them, saying there would be a follow-up to ensure compliance.
Items given were a washing machine and pressing iron for those who did laundering, and industrial sewing machines for those that did fashion and leather work.
Earlier, the Training Manager, Industrial Skills Training Centre, Lokoja, Mr Moses Onuche, urged the participants to start utilising their starter pack.
He stressed that no amount of capital would be too small to start any business, and urged them to start with what they have to build their businesses.
The training manager urged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of SMEDAN, Kogi and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Onuche encouraged them to help the government to create jobs saying it is the organised private sector that drives the economy.
Some of the participants, Abdulkadir Muhammed from Lokoja, Musa Monsur from Ijumu, Aminat Abdulmumeen from Okene, and Memunat Umar from Dekina, all expressed their excitement over empowerment.
They thanked SMEDAN and the Federal Government for the gesture and promised to make good use of the machines to better their lives and contribute their quota to the nation’s development.