The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has disclosed that no fewer than 66,092 persons from Katsina State benefitted from the different schemes of the agency under its former Boss, Dr Dikko Umar Radda.
Speaking during a one day symposium with the theme, “Dr Dikko Radda, Beyond Propaganda” held at Katsina Motel, the SMEDAN State Manager, Yusuf Abdullahi said out of the 66,092 beneficiaries 58 of them secured employment into the agency between 2016 to 2022.
The Katsina SMEDAN Manager, while presenting the breakdown of the number of beneficiaries in Katsina under its various schemes between 2016 – 2022 said, “Aside the 31,726 beneficiaries who underwent sensitization for capacity building and skills acquisition in the state, 5,224 others were trained and empowered through the Youth, Women and General Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (YDEP, WDEP, GDEP) within the period under review.”
This, Yusuf said, is a great improvement compared to time past when the state could only boast of 150 beneficiaries annually and sometimes none from the schemes.
On the MSME Survival Fund Scheme, Yusuf noted that Katsina has 7,770 beneficiaries while for the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) it has 3,090 beneficiaries who received N50,000 each to boost their business.
Also, under the Youth Business Owners in Nigeria (YBON) programme said to be a similar scheme to CGS, designed to assist young entrepreneurs with business ideas but without capital, 100 Katsina indigenes also received N50,000 each as support.
In the same vein, the Katsina SMEDAN Manager disclosed that 50 disabled persons in the state also received 50,000 each from SMEDAN under Dikko while 90 internally displaced persons at Katsina camp were empowered with different equipments to enable them start a business to cater for themselves and their immediate families.
As for the One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) scheme designed to promote the development of at least one identified agric-value product per Local Government Area in the state, only Batagarawa LGA out of the 34 LGA in the state was a beneficiary before Dikko came on board as SMEDAN’s Boss but the situation is different now as all the 34 LGA in the state are currently beneficiaries of OLOP.
Also, under the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI), which came to life during Dikko’s reign as SMEDAN’s Boss, Katsina has 570 beneficiaries who after their respective training were given sewing machines, drier machines among others to enable kickstart their business.
Other beneficiaries of SMEDAN schemes in the state as provided by its Katsina Manager includes:
Agribusiness Development Entrepreneurship Programme
(ADEP) – 225 beneficiaries.
National Schools Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP) Beneficiaries – 300
Access to Finance (A2F) beneficiaries – 389
Access to Market (A2M) Beneficiaries – 800
Post harvest Beneficiaries – 540
Business Development Service (BDS) Beneficiaries – 4,140
Free Business Registration Beneficiaries – 10,240
According to Yusuf, “the disclosure has become needful to put to rest the ongoing campaign of calumny against the erstwhile SMEDAN Boss turned Katsina APC governorship that Katsina State has little or nothing to show during his reign as the Head of SMEDAN.
Dikko at several fora has said that the achievement of SMEDAN in Katsina and the entire nation under his watch are in the public domain and can be verified by anyone. He said “what Katsina benefitted from SMEDAN is in the open. Whoever has doubt can go and verify. Besides, the beneficiaries know themselves and God also knows. So, I am not perturbed by what they are saying.”