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We’ll democratise access to capital for entrepreneurs, says SMEDAN DG

We’ll democratise access to capital for entrepreneurs, says SMEDAN DG
October 16
22:35 2023

Charles Odii, newly appointed director-general of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), says there would be local and international funding opportunities for Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Speaking after assuming office on Monday at the agency headquarters in Abuja, Odii said SMEDAN will also make access to capital easy.

He was among the 14 new CEOs whose appointments were confirmed by President Bola Tinubu last week.

Odii said the agency will work with private and public institutions at all levels to achieve the agency’s mandates and eliminate barriers inhibiting SMEs’ growth in the country.

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“We will explore local and international funding opportunities and democratize access to capital for entrepreneurs with valuable ideas and the right motivation no matter where they live in the country,” Odii said.

“SMEs will receive the training and skills they need to grow sustainably, meet local demand and become global players by exporting value.”

He said production hubs, where businesses can gain affordable access to the facilities they need, will be built.

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“We will showcase their products to the nation and the rest of the world through masterful storytelling and exhibitions and fairs staged in partnership with relevant stakeholders,” Odii said.

Taking over the affairs of SMEDAN from Olawale Fasanya, Odii pledged to work together with the entire staff of the agency to make a difference.

Odii said: “We will achieve this together as a team united by a common purpose. I am eager to collaborate with all of you to make a difference.” 

“Together, we can shape a future where our small and medium enterprises are not only surviving but thriving, and in doing so, contribute significantly to the prosperity of our nation.”

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In his remark, Fasanya described the new DG as someone who is varse and not new in the sector. 

Fasanya said MSMEs are the cornerstone of the economy and in spite of the challenges faced, they contribute over 80 percent of employment to the economy.

“The population of this sector is enormous. Like the last survey, we have no less than 39.6 million people and largely most of them are informal,” he said.

“You cannot move from one house to the other without seeing one man’s business. It is important to segregate nano from micro in giving the right attention.”

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“We really need to support them because they are not usually affected by the economic shocks. We are on this journey together.”

The outgoing DG added that he will keep offering advice for the betterment of the sector.

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