The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has empowered 90 artisans with working equipment in Bauchi state.
The agency gave a five-day advanced training to the artisans based on their trades, before resettling them with the working equipment.
Olawale Fasanya, Director-General of the agency during the closing ceremony of the training and resettlement exercise in Bauchi on Friday said the gesture was to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the most practical way.
The Director-General said 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 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.
“The Initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well-trained young artisans leading to a reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries.
“It 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,” he said.
To him, the expected outcome of the exercise includes improved business management practice, improved service provision by trained artisans, and 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 educational training to entrepreneurs and at the end of the programme, each and every participant will be given equipment to start his enterprise.
“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,” he said.
Rabiu Adamu, one of the participants who spoke on behalf of others, said he was trained in welding and appreciated SMEDAN and the federal government for the opportunity given to them.
He said they would impart the knowledge acquired to more people in their various communities.