…..As first 20 Beneficiaries Get N40m Loan

Poised to increasing the number of youths and women with empowerment in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Nigeria Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND)and the African Diaspora Partnership for Empowerment Development (ADPED) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to source, train and fund youths and women in the country to self sustenance in enterprise development.

20 Nigerian youths, who are first beneficiaries of the new enterprise development drive have received NERFUND’s N40 million loan to help them set up their various business ideas in their various states of residence.

Speaking during the signing of the tripartite agreement Tuesday in Abuja, Director General of SMEDAN, Mohammed Nadada Umar said the agency had to join in the initiative, driven by ADPED because it favourably key into the new administration’s agenda for youth employment creation through small and medium enterprises.

He said the country can no longer continue to bear the burden of youth unemployment and as such is interested in welcoming ideas that would empower the nation’s youths and also women for socital good and well-being.

‘If we have our youths and women empowered with training in business enterprise skills, to the point of them not having to wait for government jobs, things will be better; the government itself would be relieved of the problems such situations would have created”, he noted.

In his own remarks, the Managing Director/CEO of NERFUND, Baba MainaGimba said the MOU being signed brings to seven the number of institutions his agency had formalized partnership with, in aid of the active poor, youth and women groups as well as other members of the investing public.

“with these latest agreements, the fund would have succeeded in extending its dragnet to far flung corners of our great country with the sole aim of empowering our people through job creation and development of the nation’s GDP.

“permit me to mention here also that today’s event is merely a solemnization of an existing marriage as the first batch of the ADPED trainees that NERFUND funded were offspring of the marriage of convenience between NERFUND, SMEDAN and ADPED”, Gimba affirmed.

Earlier at the signing which took place at the SMEDAN Headquarters, Executive Director of ADPED, a Miami based international non profit human and Capital development body, AdewaleAlonge, said the first batch of beneficiaries, numbering 20 youths were trained in Maimi United States in America under the US Department of State, Citizenship Exchange Programme.

He added that the training of the Nigerian young entrepreneurs was made possible through a matching grant of $478,000 from the U.S government and Barry-ADPED partnership.

He revealed that NERFUND after careful assessment of proposals submitted by the 20 trainees has since released N40 million into financing their various businesses.


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