SMEDAN begins Empowerment Programme for Pensioners, IDPs & Inmates

Many public employees, he claimed, devote their entire lives to serving the country without ever having the chance to develop the skills necessary to support themselves after retirement.

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SMEDAN begins Empowerment Programme for Pensioners, IDPs & Inmates
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The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has revealed modalities are in place to train 40 prisoners, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and retirees on entrepreneurial skills.

Mr Monday Ewans, the Director, Enterprises Development and Promotion, SMEDAN, in a statement issued on Sunday, revealed that the four-day training scheduled to begin on Monday would take place in six states.

The four states are Ondo, Niger, Katsina, Imo, Borno and Rivers.

According to Ewans, the beneficiaries will be empowered with gadgets for launching or scaling their businesses.

He emphasized the need for a skill-based training program to increase youth employment rates because it is crucial for a seamless and long-lasting transfer into the workforce.

“This alternative educational path fosters skills acquisition and development for a professional working life.

“It creates self-reliance, reduces the issues of social unrest, unemployment and dependency,’’ Ewans said.

He raised worry that youths continue to have unequal access to education and skill development despite the expansion of programs for economic empowerment.

According to Ewans, people also experience difficulties finding work and developing their entrepreneurial potential.

“More so, as insecurity affects the country, a lot of Nigerians are forced to vacate their ancestral homes into temporary abodes called Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

“In these camps, all the persons are not given the opportunity to be exposed to the acquisition of livelihood skills (entrepreneurship and vocational) to enable them to return to financially independent lives after the camp experience.

“In these camps, all the persons are not given the opportunity to be exposed to the acquisition of livelihood skills (entrepreneurship and vocational) to enable them to return to financially independent lives after the camp experience.

“It is imperative that a deliberate action is taken to empower these IDPs post the camp experience,’’ Ewans said.

Many public employees, he claimed, devote their entire lives to serving the country without ever having the chance to develop the skills necessary to support themselves after retirement.

“Most of them run into serious problems and even die from lack of financial resources, illness and the likes.

“It is important to provide an opportunity for these set of people to acquire skills that will make them relevant during their post retirement years,’’ Ewans said.

He claims that the program’s goal is to encourage skill development among IDPs, prisoners, and pensioners.

“SMEDAN is committed to the conduct of a large number of vocational and entrepreneurship development programmes in specific skills relating to trades like electronics, electrical, and food processing among others

“This will enable the trainees to start or scale their own businesses.

“It will create jobs and alleviate poverty through empowering IDPs, inmates and retirees.

“Also, it will ensure that they become self-reliant and financially independent as well as reintegrate them, especially IDPs and inmates into the society and provide a sense of belonging to them.

“it is also to equip them, especially inmates with surviving skills that will make them become meaningfully engaged and not to go back to criminal activities,’’ Ewans said.

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