…as SMEDAN trains 50 in Ilorin

Stories by Matthew Denis

No fewer than 50 members of Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) have begun a two- weeks training programme on agribusiness loans organised by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)
The programme is targeted at enlightening the targeted industrialists on how to access the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan on Agribusiness, Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme (AGSMEIS).
Declaring the event opened on Monday, Kwara State Commissioner for Ministry of Industry and Solid Minerals, Ahmed Al-Hassan, stressed the need for a paradigm shift to  full fledged industrial revolution.
“This is the era of industrial revolution so government, corporate organisations and individual have shifted attention to entrepreneurial activities.
“This is aimed at creating job opportunities for people in the society most especially the youths as the CBN has different SMEs loans to support them achieve their dreams,” he said.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Sayyid Ola, the commissioner urged the participants to utilise the opportunity provided in order to achieve their goals towards expanding their businesses.
In her address, the state Coordinator of SMEDAN, Engr. Zainab AbdulMalid explained that the training is one of the prerequisite requirements by CBN for beneficiaries to access the loan.
“It is only when they are trained and are subsequently issued certificate by SMEDAN that they can apply for the loans,” she further explained.
The Coordinator, who said that the programme is in batches, added that SMEDAN has been accredited by CBN to train the industrialists for the AGSMEIS loans.
She further said that the essence of the training is to enlighten participants on guidelines and the need to ensure repayment as and when due.
In his remarks, the state Chairman of NASSI, Mr. Olawoyin Yinka Solomon decried bottlenecks associated with accessing loans in banks by industrialists.
“The path to progress in our association has not yielded fruit due to economic recession and our members don’t have access to loans.
“We hope that things will improve this time around with the CBN training on how to access agribusiness loans.
The Chairman called on all tiers of government to support the association with SMEs loans to boost the nation’s economy.
He said, “I implore all the tiers of the government to support NASSI with soft loans, as our activities will boost the economy and reduce unemployment rate in Nigeria.”