The federal government says it has paid 25,000 entrepreneurs N50,000 grant each as part of its conditional cash transfer programme for micro enterprises.
Dikko Radda, the Director-General of the Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEDAN), said this Monday at the inauguration of the National Business Skills Development Initiative in Sokoto.
He said the federal government had commenced the training of 5,365 youth entrepreneurs across the country.
He said 145 entrepreneurs were selected in each of the 36 states and the FCT for the programme which is focused on harnessing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) towards entrepreneurial revolution in industry, agriculture and commerce.
He said the programme was designed as a practical way to support MSMEs with entrepreneurial and vocational skills.
”The programme was designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well-trained young artisans, leading to reduction in job losses and immigrants from neighbouring countries.
”It seeks to drastically pursue reduction in dependence and poverty, as most of our youths still rely on stipends from parents,” Mr Radda said.
According to him, SMEDAN is determined to address the challenges confronting MSMEs in a holistic manner.
“This is why the agency implemented the ”One Local Government One Product (OLOP) in 109 senatorial districts across the nation.
”This is based on successful implementation of OLOP programme in Katsina, Kaduna, FCT, Osun and Anambra states, with the right intervention on workshop, equipment support, access to working capital and capacity building.
”The Agency also implemented the Conditional Cash Transfer for micro enterprises which are assisted to register with relevant authorities, and opened bank accounts where at present, 25,000 entrepreneurs obtained N50,000 grants each,” he added.
He said the federal government facilitated establishment of Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) that provides standard services to MSMEs, noting that about 150 prospective BSDPs are awaiting practicing licences.
Mr Radda said MSMEs Digital Academy, along with many other initiatives, were provided by the present administration to enhance peoples’ productive livings.
”Most recent national MSMEs survey of 2007 indicated that there are about 41.6 million MSMEs, employing 59.6 million labour force, contributing to 49.78 per cent and 7.64 per cent to nominal Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and exports respectively,” he said. (NAN)