Samuel Luka, Bauchi
NO fewer than 90 artisans in Bauchi state have been empowered with working tools by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Our Corresspondent reports that the gesture is coming after the agency conducted a five-day advanced training to the artisans based on their trades.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the training and resettlement exercise in Bauchi on Friday, the Director General of the agency, Mr Olawale Fasanya, said the gesture was to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in a most practical way.
Fasanya explained that the programme was carried out under the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) of the agency.
He highlighted the trades they were covered in the training as tailoring, welding and fabrication, as well as laundry.
Represented by Mr Mahmood Dogwa, Zonal Coordinator, SMEDAN, North-East, the DG, said that the programme was designed to provide entrepreneurship, vocational skills and empowerment materials to fill the capacity gap of the youths.
“The NBSDI enhances youth engagement in productive ventures thereby ensuring they earn income through filling the artisan gap in Nigeria”, he said.
“The Initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well trained young artisans leading to reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries”, Dogwa added.
According to Dogwa, the programme seeks to pursue a drastic reduction in dependency poverty as most of the out of school youths who still rely on stipends from parents are empowered to become self-reliant.
According to him, the expected outcome of the exercise include improved business management practice, improved service provision by trained artisans, increased access to finance, equipment and other business resources.
Others he said include improved satisfaction level of customers by artisans through improved service delivery as well as increased patronage of Nigerian artisans.
“This is purely a programme being promoted by the agency to give an educational training to entrepreneurs and at the end of the programme, each and every participant will be given equipment to start his enterprise”, he said.
“My message to the participants is that they should see themselves as very fortunate and should utilise what is being given to them and the knowledge acquired judiciously so that by this time next year, we’d be proud of them that they have also produced another set of entrepreneurs,” Dogwa further said.
Also speaking, Rabiu Adamu, one of the participants who spoke on behalf of others, said he was trained on welding and appreciated SMEDAN and federal government for the opportunity given to them.
He promised that the equipment given to them would be judiciously utilised for the right purpose.
Adamu said they would impart the knowledge acquired on more people in their various communities.