SMEDAN commences Exportation Business Training for 400 Entrepreneurs

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(L-R), SMEDAN Logo, SMEDAN DG - Olawale Fasanya (Photo Credit: People Gazette)

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), on Tuesday commenced a 4-day training of 400 entrepreneurs on how to export their goods and services.

The programme, organised in partnership with Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), gathered participants from different businesses including food and non-food items.

Mr Olawale Fasanya, Director-General, SMEDAN, inaugurating the training in Birnin Kebbi, said that it was also going on simultaneously in Enugu, Cross River and Kwara.

Fasanya noted that 100 entrepreneurs would be trained in each of the four states.

The D-G, who was represented by a Deputy Director in the agency, Alhaji Ado Adamu-Bello, said: “I want to use this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to the NEPC for partnering with the agency to implement this programme.

“Over the years, countries have made significant progress in lowering trade tariffs and dismantling quota systems towards enhancing the export capabilities of their enterprises.

“International trade has increased and manufacturing has become more global, with developing, emerging and transition economies connecting with international supply and value chains in terms of both their exports and imports.”

He claimed that countries had now realized how very important effective export processing is to their export economies.

Fasanya claimed that a comprehensive strategy was required for the more effective handling of end-to-end trade operations.

“The result of the 2020 National Survey on MSMEs indicates that the MSMEs contributed 6.21 per cent to exports.

“This relatively low contribution to exports has exposed the fact that MSMEs are often faced with lots of challenges that restrict their entry into the export market.

“Not only do these challenges need to be studied in detail but a business-friendly ecosystem needs to be created in such a way that these enterprises will be able to participate in the global value chain on their own and ultimately generate economies of scale.

“Consequently, there is the crucial need for a clear understanding of export readiness status requirements, expectations for e-registration platform and other incentives to encourage export for MSMEs products and services,” Fasanya said.

He said that the commission was putting MSMEs in a strategic position to benefit from global supply and value chains.

According to Fasanya, this is why the organization created the MSMEs Export Facilitation Programme: to increase their ability and give them access to all necessary information to enable their successful participation in the export market.

He mentioned a few program goals, among them educating MSMEs about the value of boosting exports and raising their level of knowledge of it.

The D-G listed other requirements as great product branding and packaging that complied with both national and international standards.

Fasanya said: “In our determination to address the challenges confronting the MSMEs in Nigeria in a holistic manner, the agency is implementing the One Local Government One Product (OLOP), in the 109 senatorial districts in the country.

“This ambitious effort of the agency is based on the successful implementation of the pilot phase of the OLOP programme in Katsina, Kaduna, FCT, Osun and Anambra States three years ago.”

He stated that among other things, the OLOP intervention operations included access to workspace, equipment support, working capital access, and capacity building.

Fasanya said that the organization was also carrying out Nigeria’s Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for micro entrepreneurs.

Speaking to the attendees, Alhaji Aminu Abba-Ali, Manager of Zenith Bank Plc’s Kebbi branch, praised SMEDAN for organizing the session.

He reaffirmed the bank’s willingness to lend money to qualified business owners in order to increase their chances of exporting.

He stated that the bank had introduced a programme mainly for women entrepreneurs tagged: “Z-Woman” which was specifically meant to assist them across the nation.

One of the participants, Mrs Bilkisu Ahmed-Ibrahim described the training as enlightening, adding, “we were taught how to rebrand and repackage products, how to relate with customers and how to make more sales to push our businesses forward.”

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