Dr Dikko Radda, Director-General (DG), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), says the future of Nigeria’s economy rests on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Radda, who stated this on Tuesday in Makurdi at the inauguration of the Benue Council on MSMEs, maintained that small businesses were the hope and future of the country.
He explained that the mandate of SMEDAN was to ensure and facilitate the growth of SMEs in the country.
According to him, the agency had carried out a number of programmes that had impacted on small businesses in the country.
Radda listed such programmes as Entrepreneurship Development, Development of SMEs capacities and Conditional Grants Scheme, among others.
He said: “As the vanguard agency for MSMEs development, it is our conviction that small businesses are the hope and future of our nation.
“The MSMEs sub-sector presents to us a true opportunity to deepen our economy, increase industrial output, reduce import dependency and free ourselves from the stranglehold of the mono-product called oil.
“As you all know, the unhelpful effects of oil, which has led to a reduction in our national earnings, prevented us from fully exploiting other natural endowments and indeed, contributed to youth restiveness spreading like wild fire.”
The director-general explained that the core responsibility of the inaugurated state council was to coordinate all the activities of SMEs for the growth of the economy.
He said that the council would also provide guidance on the policies and strategies to drive the development of the MSMEs sub-sector in the state, among other duties.
While inaugurating the committee, Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue said that his government might lease or sell all of its moribund industries.
Ortom said that his administration had earlier inaugurated the state council on commercialisation and privatisation to reposition the moribund public-owned enterprises in the state.
He expressed the regretted that Taraku Mills, with the capacity of producing 370 tones of grand oil and animal feeds per day, was among the companies wasting away in the state.
According to the governor, the state government lacks the capacity to undertake commercial ventures.
He urged the council members to recommend policies that would improve the state and the country’s economy, adding that it was critical in building the state’s economy.
“This council is vital in harnessing the efforts of micro, small and medium enterprises as critical stakeholders in building the state economy,” he said.
Ortom said that his administration had commenced the process of setting-up a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency in the state.
He said that the State Executive Council had already given approval, adding that a legislation was being awaited from the State House of Assembly.
Mr Merga Kachina, Chairman of the council and Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, said that members would work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them. (NAN)