The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has flagged off the distribution of its Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for about 10,400 microenterprises, in the country.
At the event in Abuja on Friday, Director General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, said the CGS initiative seeks to promote the activities of micro enterprises through providing them with enterpreneurship training, business name registration, micro insurance, financial grant of N50,000, and the delivery of post-intervention support services, in a bid to formalize the informal sector and make them easily targeted for government intervention.
According to him, the justification for a special enterpreneurship/vocational development intervention for the informal sector is based on the need to industrialize the nation, develop the rural economy, stem youth restiveness and unemployment, while also creating the platform for sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria.
Radda, disclosed that the Scheme is scheduled to take place in Abia, Kaduna, FCT, Yobe, Ekiti and Delta States for this year.
According to him, the 2017 National Survey on MSMEs revealed that there were 41.5 million MSMEs employing 59.6 million persons (86.3% of national workforce) and contributing 49.78% to nominal GDP and 7.64% to exports.
He said: “Of the 41.5 million MSMEs, the number of micro enterprises was stated as 41,469,947 (representing 99.8% of total enterprises), saying the total number of persons employed by micro enterprises was 56,725,204 (representing 95.1% of the total number of persons employed).
The SMEDAN helmsman, maintained that the eligibility of the prospective beneficiaries of CGS is based on business registration or willingness to register their enterprises, the need for additional investment, lack of access to formal financial services, and enterprises having progressive economic potentials, among others.
“The Scheme also has provision for award of excellence to high performing enterprises in all the LGAs of the selected states to reward hard work/success and to encourage high performance from other enterprises,” Radda said.
Alh. Arabi Tukur, Managing Director of the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), who represented the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello, expressed deep appreciation to SMEDAN for bringing the opportunity to the door step of residents of Abuja.
He said the FCT administration has keyed fully into the MSMEs policies of the Federal Government, with a view to galvanizing small and medium enterprises through the establishment of a one-stop shop for the MSMEs to facilitate the ease of doing business in the FCT.