The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has empowered 90 youth in Plateau with industrial sewing machines, car wash and shoe making machines.
Mr Olawale Fasanya, Director- General of the agency, who presented the items to the beneficiaries in Jos, said that the gesture was part of its ongoing National Business Skills Development Initiative.
Fasanya, represented by Tunde Oloyede, Deputy Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion of the agency, explained that the agency had trained the beneficiaries ahead of the presentation of the items.
He said that the initiative was aimed at addressing poverty and unemployment in the country.
The director general, added that the essence of the programme currently ongoing across the 36 states of the federation and the F.C.T., was to create a value chain that would reduce the spate of unemployment and making young people self reliant.
He explained that the programme would go a long way to support the growth of small businesses, thereby, expanding individual income and that of the country in general.
”As you may be aware, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is critical towards the growth of every economy.
”Collectively, MSMEs accounted for the highest job creation in Nigeria with 39.6 per cent of them operating within the country, that have employed over 80.2 per cent of our labour force and contributing 43 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
”It is in a bid to support MSMEs in Nigeria that SMEDAN developed this initiative in order to have a productive youth that will earn a living.
”This initiative is developed to also address job loses, poverty and the current spate of youth migration from the country,” he said.
Fasanya thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the agency to tackle poverty and upscale ease of doing businesses in the country.
On his part, Mr Jonathan Janfa, the SMEDAN Manager in Plateau, advised the beneficiaries to put the items given them into good use.
He particularly warned against selling the items, insisting that anyone caught would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Janfa also thanked Gov. Simon Lalong for supporting and creating an enabling environment for SMEDAN to operate in the state.
Odinga Adiwu, a beneficiary, thanked SMEDAN for the gesture and promised to put the start pack and knowledge gained into good use for her personal benefit and that of others.