In a bid to assist in the continued effort to lift millions of Nigerians from penury, the Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Charles Odii, has disclosed the agency’s plan to embark on a partnership with the National Assembly to provide funding opportunities for one million small businesses across the country.
Odii, who said this on Tuesday at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja while meeting with entrepreneurs and young lawmakers, added that the initiative is a crucial component of SMEDAN’s mission to foster prosperity through the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises.
Odii, who led the delegation on an inspection of the work hubs located at the agency’s headquarters stressed the significance of the lawmakers’ dual role as “credible representatives of Nigerians at the grassroots level and lawmakers.”
Some of the lawmakers present include Hon Bello El-Rufai, the member representing Kaduna North Federal Constituency; Hon Olamiju Alao Akala, the member representing Ogbomosho North/South/ Oriire Federal Constituency; Hon Ishaya David Lalu, the member representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency; Hon Uche Okonkwo, the member representing Idemili North/South Federal Constituency, among others.
The SMEDAN boss highlighted the agency’s invaluable contribution to the mission of small business development in the nation.
“We will collaborate with you to identify, train, and prepare small businesses in your respective constituencies for funding. Numerous organizations, both local and international, stand ready to support SMEs with funding opportunities. However, the primary challenge hindering this progress is the lack of formal structures within most SMEs. Together with you, we aim to transform this status quo and ensure that SMEs are connected to opportunities for growth,” he stated.
The Minister of State for Youth, Ayodele Olawande, lauded the commitment to partnering with SMEDAN to provide the institutional support required to facilitate access to market, finance, and capacity building.