Charles Odii, the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), emphasized the importance of partnering with licensed Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) for uniform and quality support within Nigeria’s MSMEs sector. He made this call during a licensing ceremony in Lagos, where the third batch of qualified BDSPs received their licenses.
Odii lauded the establishment of a credible licensing framework designed to assess the technical competence of BDSPs. This framework aims to enhance their assistance to MSMEs in Nigeria. He underscored that this initiative is part of SMEDAN’s broader mission to promote professionalism in the BDS ecosystem.
The Director-General expressed gratitude to all stakeholders who contributed to the success of this initiative. He acknowledged the efforts of the National Steering Committee, Kaduna Business School, the Enterprise Development Center at Pan Atlantic University, and the dedicated agency staff.
Odii outlined several impactful initiatives by SMEDAN to address challenges faced by MSMEs in Nigeria. These include the One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) program, which operates in 109 senatorial districts and provides access to workspace, equipment support, working capital, and capacity building.
He highlighted the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS), which trained and provided grants of N50,000 each to over 60,000 micro-enterprises. Additionally, the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) trained over 13,000 entrepreneurs.
Odii also mentioned ongoing projects like the MSMEs Mass Registration Project (MMRP) aimed at establishing a comprehensive database of MSMEs for better planning. Furthermore, the review of the National Policy on MSMEs is underway to drive accelerated growth.
He concluded by urging all stakeholders to continue their support for the MSMEs sub-sector, emphasizing its pivotal role in achieving national objectives such as job creation, wealth generation, and poverty alleviation.