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The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) prides itself as a “One Stop Shop” for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMA). Established by the SMEDAN Act of 2003 to promote the development of the MSME sector of the Nigerian Economy, it facilitates the access of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs/investors to all resources required for their development.
At one of the trainings which also served as a form of sensitization campaign, the director-general explained that the training, designed to develop the capacity of entrepreneurs to run successful and sustainable businesses, was a crucial exercise in the crusade for national economic development. According to him, the participants are expected to become employers of labour instead of job seekers, at the end of the training. He noted that well-trained entrepreneurs would do a deadly blow to poverty and unemployment and ensure their economic independence.
Born in 1945 in Danbam Local Government of Bauchi State, Muhammad Nadada Umar holds the traditional title of Zannan Misau, Bauchi state. A Fellow of the Corporate Administrators Institute of Nigeria is an alumnus of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is man of many parts: lawyer, banker, entrepreneur, administrator and politician. He has bought his various backgrounds to bear in his current position as the Director-General/Chief Executive of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
He attended Akayum Primary School and Government Secondary School Azare before proceeding the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 1973. He graduated in 1978 with Bachelor of Law (LLB) Honours Degree and then entered the Nigerian Law School Lagos from where he came out Barrister-at-Law (BL) in 1980.
He was once a legal officer with the Bauchi state Ministry of Justice. From 1980 to 1984, he served as Assistant Company Secretary/Legal Adviser with Bauchi Investment and Property Development Company Limited. Due to his outstanding performance he was promoted to Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, a position he occupied till January 1990.
He later joined the New Africa Merchant Bank Limited where he served as Senior Manager and Bank Secretary up to May 1992. He was promoted the following month to Assistant General Manager/Bank Secretary and rose in January 1994 to General Manager/Bank Secretary, a position he occupied till April 1996.
Umar veered from banking to industrial sector when he took up jobs as General Manager/Chief Executive of the cotton and agricultural processors limited where he controlled eight branches with zonal offices at Zaria, Gombe and Malumfashi. A company with over 2,000 personnel, he turned it around from loss-making to profitability. His first year performance recorded a profit of over N26 million for a company that hitherto operated at a loss. A great investor, he was director of NEWDEVCO Finance Service Company Limited from 1991 to 1996 and Chairman Yankari Insurance Company Limited from 1992 to 1999.
At the return of democracy to Nigeria, he ventured into the rough terrain of politics. A human development strategist, he had looked forward to challenging opportunities to influence positively the plight of the poor. His party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) formed the government in Bauchi state as well as at the centre. He became the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) from June 1999 to November 2006. As SSG, he was the Chief Adviser to the governor, Alhaji (Dr) Ahmadu Adamu Muázu (Walin Bauchi) who was highly rated by the media for his outstanding performance, especially in the area of infrastructure. Umar’s other responsibilities include coordinating the activities of all the as guiding the government within its stipulated programmes.
Before his appointment as Director-General of SMEDAN, he was the PDP gubernatorial flag-bearer in Bauchi state at the 2007 general elections. He is happily married with kids.