The nation’s foremost private initiative, Small Medium Enterprises Summit and Awards (SMESUMA), is set to hold its 6th edition programme to reward entrepreneurs in the public and private sectors,
The event, tagged “SMESUMA ’23″, slated for October, is expected to showcase the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians who have not only created employment, but also wealth.
While speaking ahead of the event, the convener, Adedayo Olalekan, said the ceremony, which was endorsed by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), would hold in Abuja.
“This year’s edition is totally different and unique. Despite the harsh economic environment occasioned by inflation, government policies, and wars going on around the world, especially in Ukraine, the can-do spirit in Nigerians was all that is needed to carry on.
“We are not only recognising these shining stars, but also rewarding their tenacity and perseverance.
“Apart from these individuals, the government, especially at the state level, has also added value and colours to a lot of enterprises in their various states.
“Also, this year is a win-win for everyone as every winner, in all the categories, will empower an SME operator on the spot.
“Among governors ensuring substantial growth and development of SMEs in their states are Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Adamawa, Imo and Bayelsa, all of whom will be recognised and rewarded at the event”, he said.
According to him, response from participants, including banking, telecoms, automobile, beverages and different state governments, who want to showcase their achievements and innovations, have been overwhelming.
Over the years, the government, particularly at the state level, has come to associate with it as it showcases some of their economic programmes.
He also said private companies, including banks, telecoms and others see the event as an avenue to showcase their various SME products
IHS Trains Youths On SMEs Management
IHS Nigeria has completed its training programme for over 25 young individuals in Yaba Local Government Area of Lagos State, as part of its “IHS Project Empower” initiative.
This effort was designed to empower them with the skills needed to establish small-scale businesses.
The event took place recently at Yaba LCDA in Lagos.
In his keynote address, the Associate Director, Government Relations IHS Nigeria Limited, Bond Abbe, said, “Based on our belief that entrepreneurship drives a nation’s growth, we have developed the IHS Project Empower, as one of our sustainability initiatives, to serve as proof of our unwavering commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial spirit for the betterment of our nation, which is in alignment with one of our sustainability pillars, education and economic growth.
“Our main aim is to create an environment where entrepreneurship can thrive through acquisition training, funding, mentorship, and support to help young adults turn their ideas into successful businesses through the IHS Project Empower”
According to him, the empowerment programme had provided training to over 2,929 young entrepreneurs and innovators, offered grants to 95 young entrepreneurs in 13 states of Nigeria, and, as a result, created 768 new jobs.
He added that this had positively impacted the lives of over 701,688 people across Nigeria.
FG, Bank To Train 2m Youths On Digital Skills
In furtherance to its pledge to support the job creation agenda of the President Bola Tinubu administration, WEMA Bank, in partnership with the Office of the Vice President, has concluded arrangements to commence an initiative that will impact two million youths and one million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.
The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, who received an update report on the programme on Monday during a courtesy visit by the Managing Director of WEMA Bank, Moruf Oseni, lauded the commitment and partnership of the bank for the initiative.
The delegation was at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to brief the Vice President on the progress made in the implementation of the FGN-ALAT Digital Skill-Novation Programme, an initiative of a partnership between the Federal Government and WEMA Bank to train two million youths and empower one million MSMEs across Nigeria.
Speaking on the support and commitment of the bank in the execution of the initiative, the VP in a statement by his media office said: “I will call on you to be above board. You are a good organization.
“I want to thank you most sincerely for your initiative and commitment, be rest assured that we will fulfill our own part of the bargain”.
Speaking to State House correspondents later in an interview, the MD of WEMA Bank, Mr Moruf Oseni, said they were at the Presidential Villa to brief the Vice President on “how far we have gone on the FGN/ALAT project.
“Vice President was very happy, and shortly you will hear from his office of how we want to progress with this programme. Part of this is to help create innovation hubs across the country for us.
“Mr President came out with a very bold and audacious plan on how to revive the Nigerian economy. The banks are a key player and we will put in our best to actualize this.
“If Nigeria does well, the financial institutions will do well. Mr. President is 100% on track and we are totally in support of his administration”.
On his part, Mr Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, emphasised the significance of collaboration, noting that “there is power in partnership. Private sector and the public sector coming together can always do more for the people.
“Mr. President’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda cannot be achieved by the government or private sector alone as it requires all hands on deck.
“So, we dug deep into the private sector to see how they can actually play their own role. In the first instance they agreed to partner with us on skills acquisition and in other aspects of the scheme that we plan to implement”.
The FGN/ALAT Digital Skill-Novation Programme will be formally launched by the Vice President on the 29th of September at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
Also present at the meeting were Mr Tunde Mabawonko, Executive Director, WEMA Bank; Mr Bamidele Adefemi, Head of Federal Public Sector, and Mr Chioma Onuaguluchi, Regional Executive, Abuja.
Revamp Technical, Skills Acquisition Centres – CEO
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of I-Contact Connect Limited, Port Harcourt, Dr. Larry-Goodwill Ajiola, has reiterated the need for the Rivers State Government to urgently revamp technical and vocational training centres for skills acquisition in the state.
Dr. Ajiola, a United Nations Eminent Peace Ambassador, said skills development for decent work and livelihood is key to sustainable peace and stability of any nation, stressing that “equipping youths with relevant knowledge and right attitude to work will make them self-sufficient and not depend on white collar jobs which are not even available”.
Ajiola, who noted the high rate of unemployment among the youths in the state, attributed the alarming result to government’s neglect of technical and vocational education centers.
He also noted the need for companies sited in different communities to use this in empowering the indeginous youths in their areas, adding that lthis will go a long way in bringing lasting peace in the working environment and society at large.
He, therefore, called on the State Government to urgently revamp all the neglected technical and vocational centres and make them functional for the teeming youths of the state who desire to acquire skills that will make them self-employed and contribute their quota to the socio-economic development of the state.
He also encouraged the youths to make moves in contacting and dialoguing with the companies in their dormains on educational and vocational acquisition, warning against the quest for money, which, he noted, would be spent within few days.
Amb. Ajiola also noted the need for local government chairmen to collaborate with companies in their communities and empower their wards through skill acquisition.
By: Lilian Peters
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