No fewer than 90 youths in Kogi State, have been trained and empowered on Skills acquisition by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the one-week empowerment on Friday in Lokoja, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, said the programme was under the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI).
Fasanya, who was represented by the North Central Coordinator of SMEDAN, Mrs Charity Abuh, said the NBSDI is one of SMEDAN’s numerous programmes targeted at empowering entrepreneurs.
”We have been here training and empowering the beneficiary for the past one week in both entrepreneurship and skills development.
”We have chosen three skills’ trade, which include Laundering, Leather work and Fashion design, and we have selected 90 participants across the three senatorial districts of Kogi State,” he said.
The Director-General noted that all the States of the federation, including the FCT participated in the empowerment programme and the entrepreneurship development.
According to him, the purpose is to enhance the capacity of the participants and help them with starter packs in the three skill areas.
He said the empowerment would enable the participants to contribute their quota to the economic development of Kogi State and the nation at large.
He said the programme was organised annually which started last year, promising that 2023 will be greater than 2022.
Fasanya advised the beneficiaries to make good use of the equipment given to them, saying there would be follow-up to ensure compliance.
Items given were Washing Machine and Pressing Iron for those who did laundery, and industrial sewing machines for those that did fashion and leather work.
Earlier, the Training Manager, Industrial Skills Training Centre, Lokoja, Mr Moses Onuche, urged the participants to start utilising their starter packs.
He stressed that no amount of capital would be too small to start any business, urginh them to start with what they have to build their businesses.
The training manager urged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of SMEDAN, Kogi and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Onuche encouraged them to help government to create jobs saying it is the organised private sector that drive the economy.
Some of the participants, Abdulkadir Muhammed from Lokoja, Musa Monsur from Ijumu, Aminat Abdulmumeen from Okene, and Memunat Umar from Dekina, all expressed their excitement over the empowerment programme.
They commended SMEDAN and the Federal Government for the gesture, and promised to make good use of the machines to better their lives and contribute their quota to the nation’s development.