Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, is working towards the upgrade and conversion of its 23 Industrial Development Centres, IDCs, across the country to enterprise centres and MSMEs clusters in an effort to facilitate speedy development of MSMEs to enhance economic empowerment and employment generation.
Director General of SMEDAN, Mallam Bature Umar Masari made this known in Abuja at the weekend shortly after briefing the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, on the state of the IDCs.
Stressing the importance of the IDCs to skills and MSMEs development, the director-general said that the IDCs, after the upgrade through Public Private Partnership, PPP, would be converted into MSMEs cluster parks and enterprise zones.
He gave the names of the IDCs slated for conversion into MSMEs cluster parks to include Abeokuta (Ogun State) Akure (Ondo State) Bauchi (Bauchi State), Benin (Edo State), Kano (Kano State), Maiduguri (Borno State), Minna (Niger State), Ogoja (Cross River State), Oshogbo (Osun State), Port Harcourt (Rivers State), Sokoto (Sokoto State) Yola (Adamawa State) and Zaria (Kaduna State).
The director general further said that the IDCs in Enugu (Enugu State), Idu (FCT), Ikorodu (Lagos State), Ilorin (Kwara State), Jos (Plateau State), Katsina (Katsina State), Owerri
(Imo State), Uyo (Akwa Ibom State), and Wukari (Taraba State), would be converted into enterprise zones because of their size to offer common facilities and workspaces to MSMEs in those states.
He further said that towards ensuring the actualisation of the plan, SMEDAN was already into partnership with Osun and Kano State governments for the redevelopment and upgrade of the IDCs in Oshogbo and Tiga respectively, where huge funds were being committed by the two state governments on the upgrade and conversion of the facilities.
Malam Bature pointed out that while the Tiga IDC was in the process of being converted to a world class leather cluster park, more than N200 million had so far been expended on the improvement of facilities and rehabilitation of the Oshogbo IDC by the Osun State government under an MOU with SMEDAN.
He urged other state governments and the organised private sector to partner with SMEDAN in the current efforts of the federal government to make MSME development the bedrock for job creation and poverty alleviation in the country.
The Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar after the briefing restated the commitment of the present administration to engage all stakeholders in driving its policy
of fighting unemployment and poverty in the country.
Abubakar said that the ministry would intensify its efforts at
soliciting the support and partnership of the state governments and the
private sector in converting the IDCs into more functional facilities for the development of MSMEs in the country.
She therefore charged SMEDAN to redouble its efforts in ensuring proper utilisation of the IDCs to support the Buhari administration’s industrialisation drive by providing skills to more Nigerians.