The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) disclosed that it has given N103.5 million to 2,070 entrepreneurs in Sokoto state
According to the Dr Yakubu Maccido Ahmad, who is a member of the governing board of the agency, the monies were given to support drive to economic self-reliance and national development in the state, with beneficiaries comprising men and women.
SMEDAN ensured the initiative cover all the 23 Local Government Areas (LGA) in the state with 90 participants selected from each LGA. Each participant received N50,000. The agency stated that three banks were employed to disburse the funds and they include Fidelity, Guaranty Trust and Polaris banks.
“Payment is being made directly into the account of each beneficiaries. In addition, a business name enterprise will be issued to each beneficiary thereby exposing them to formal business. I want to advise them to utilize the grant for the purpose it was meant for,” Dr Ahmad said.
However, according to Dr Ahmad, while Fidelity and Polaris Banks have commenced disbursement and are about to round off payments to the selected entrepreneurs, Guaranty Trust Bank has not commenced disbursement.
Meanwhile, Dr Ahmad reportedly appreciated the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko; Chairman, Governing Board of SMEDAN, Femi Pedro, and the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umar Raddah for their immense support which led to the success of the initiative.
SMEDAN as an agency was established by the SMEDAN Act of 2003, to promote the development of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. The Agency serves as a One-Stop-Shop for MSME development and carries out the following functions:
- Stimulating, monitoring and coordinating the development of the MSMEs sub-sector
- Initiating and articulating policy ideas for small and medium enterprises growth and development.
- Promoting and facilitating development programmes, instruments and support services to accelerate the development and modernization of MSME operations.
- Serving as vanguard for rural industrialization, poverty reduction, job creation and enhanced livelihoods.
- Linking MSMEs to internal and external sources of finance, appropriate technology, technical skills as well as to large enterprises.