The Federal Government, through Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has trained and empowered no fewer than 90 youth entrepreneurs on vocational skills in Ondo State.
Director-General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya, made the disclosure at the closing of a five-day programme on National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI), held on Thursday in Akure.
Fasanya, who was represented by SMEDAN’s Chief Enterprise Officer, said that 70 youths were trained on fashion designing, 10 on photography and another 10 on make-over.
The director-general explained that the gesture was part of the agency’s numerous programmes for people to be self-reliant, especially the small scale entrepreneurs across the country.
Fasanya, who explained that the participants were drawn from all the 18 local government areas in the state, said that the agency was able to train the participants after conducting needs assessment to know what type of trade or skills they were lacking.
He also said that the participants, who were majorly youths, were trained on entrepreneurship development and vocational skills, while they were also empowered.
The director-general said that the 70 people, who were trained on fashion designing, got industrial sewing machine each, 10 each got complete photographic equipment, including tripod, while the remaining 10 got make-up kits each as start up.
While stating that the agency would continue to monitor all the beneficiaries on their performances, Fasanya urged them to utilise all the start-up equipment for the purpose for which they were meant and not sell them.
“Please, take the training you went through seriously and utilise the equipment given to you; I believe if you take all these into consideration, the sky will be your limit.
“With the small start up we are giving, you should have good expectations in the future, because we don’t want you to over-depend or keep depending on your parents,” Fasanya said.
One of the beneficiaries, Ifeoluwa Olarewaju, from Akoko South-West Local Government Area, who is into fashion designing, appreciated the federal government for considering them for the scheme.
“Sincerely, I am overwhelmed with the gesture, because with the situation of the country, I was thinking that government and its parastatals don’t remember the less-privileged again.
“I thank the director, the federal government and the facilitators of the initiative, because tailoring materials are not easy to buy in the market due to their high prices.
“The industrial sewing machine will go a long way in helping me in my tailoring business,” Olarewaju said.
Also, Miss Olajumoke Moturayo, a make-up designer from Akure North Local Government Area, commended the federal government for the empowerment, stating that she had been in the business for almost three years without enough equipment.
“Apart from the equipment, the training will help me to upgrade my business from where I am, while the equipment will help me to train more people, thereby contributing my own quota to the country’s economic development,” she said.(NAN)