Mr Bature Masari, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has called for the development of agro allied industries to boost job creation in the country.
Masari, who made the call in Abuja at a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum, said the agency is committed to the development of Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria.
According to him, agro allied processing will not only boost job creation but also attract Nigerians massively into agriculture sector.
Masari decried lack of access to finance by Nigerians, saying that SMEDAN had been mandated to coordinate activities on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the country, including agricultural sector.
‘’We coordinate activities in that particular sub-sector with a view to ensuring that whatever is needed by the government to support MSME in Nigeria is implemented by the agency.
‘’And we have been doing that to the best of our ability in every state of the country and we have been able to ensure that MSMEs receive financial assistance.’’
The Director explained that there were very many Nigerians with profitable enterprising ideas but lack necessary collateral to obtain the needed financial assistance to boost their businesses.
Masari said that SMEDAN has been able to undertake proper identification of agriculture products that can generate both employment and revenue to the teaming population and the country.
The director-general, therefore, advised Nigerians to explore such opportunity, adding that it will reduce unemployment and poverty in the society.
‘’When we concluded the opening of our offices across the country; we conducted survey and identified a ‘one-Local Government, one-product’ in every council area in Nigeria.
‘’We brought together major stakeholders in these local government areas and we were able to select product data massively produced in these local governments.
‘’We discovered products that have a long value chain which Nigerians can key into in their localities and various enterprises that can provide jobs through them.’’
Masari said over 90 per cent of the SMEDAN’s products identified were in agro allied processing and cut across all the 774 LGA in the country, which underscored the important of agriculture in Nigeria.
According to him, the agency is working in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enhance agriculture sector and boost produce value chain.
‘’We are using our products identification in the LGAs in Nigeria and advising Nigerians to take advantage of millions of opportunities within the agro allied processing potential of the country.
‘’This will help significantly in job creation,’’ Masari said. (NAN)
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