Francis Kadiri, Abuja
The Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) of the United Nations Industrial Development Organsiation (UNIDO) has assured that it will work with Africa to realize the projected growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria and across Africa saying that the increase in global demand for Nigerian products is a signal of the country’s potentialities to significantly contribute to global economic development.
The Head, UNIDO ITPO Nigeria, Mrs Adebisi Olumodimu who gave the assurance at the closing ceremony of a four-day intensive training program organized by UNIDO-ITPO Nigeria for three Federal Government agencies said a strong team has been developed to strengthen the training potentials of the agencies toward improving their mandate delivery.
‘UNIDO ITPO Nigeria has just finished the training of experts which it will use in the training its tasks ahead,’ she said adding that the team has been able to evolve needed strategies that will address challenges associated with entrepreneurial development in Nigeria.
“As a team, the collaborators have analyzed the Nigerian business climate, and we have also imbibed the spirit of enterprise so that we will train entrepreneurs in the interest of ensuring that their businesses thrive despite challenges,’ she said.
‘I have no doubt that we will achieve our set goal of making conglomerates of entrepreneurs by strengthening SMEs and placing them on the path of growth,’ she added.
The beneficiary agencies are the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), National Office for Technology Acquisition & Promotion (NOTAP) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
Mrs Olumodimu tasked the agencies to maximize the opportunities afforded them by the training stating that they must leave no stone unturned in applying newly devised strategies to their operations as it regards development of entrepreneurs.
The Director General of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhameed thanked the UNIDO ITPO Nigeria for the platform and assured that NIRSAL will sustain the inter-agency collaboration established by ITPO Nigeria for the development of SMEs in the country.
He congratulated the partners and collaborators for a successful training and promised that NIRSAL will apply the newfound knowledge and strategies in pursuit of its mandate.
‘We are going to work with our partners in NIPC and NOTAP. We sill identify realistic projects in the agricultural value chain that have to do with youth and we will apply the leaning we have gotten here to the pursuit’
The Coordinator, UNIDO ITPO, Mr Afif Barhoumi said the end of the Train the Trainers is the beginning of a shift from theory to practice. ‘Now that the intensive training has ended, there will be a practice of what has been learnt in theory.
Corroborating Mrs Olumodimu’s position, Afif said: ‘The training has shown that we have a very formidable team, and we are very sure that we will achieve the set task.
‘The next thing is to deploy the shared knowledge and new partnerships to the development of entrepreneurs in Nigeria,’ he said adding that it will include those who want to start up new businesses and those who desire to expand their existing businesses.
‘UNIDO is very willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that entrepreneurs in Nigeria succeed; we cannot do this by ourselves, but we have been able to raise a strong team that will do that.
‘We have developed real partnerships across the sectors that will work to develop entrepreneurs in Nigeria.