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The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria SMEDAN has commenced the training of MSMEs officers nationwide for the implementation of its One Local Government One Product Programme.
Declaring the training programme open in Kaduna last week, the Director General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Finance and Administration, Mallam Ibrahim Shehu said SMEDAN was re-launching the OLOP programme in line with the vision of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ERPG of the federal government.
He said OLOP was a rural economy revitalization plan built around the well known Drivers of its globally renowned equivalent of “One Village One Product” which originated from Japan.
Radda told the desk officers that the One Local Government, One Product as the name suggests was a process in which each Local Government identified a valuable local resource in which it has competitive and comparative advantage to promote to the rest of the country through its value-addition, sales and marketing activities. He said the programme is focused on identifying local distinctiveness, value-addition, and branding and market access.
The Director General reiterated that OLOP would enable the Agency achieve the goal of identifying and galvanizing rural communities around their natural endowment for wealth creation, OLOP according to him, would also enhance technical, technological and business management skills of MSMEs (especially existing) as basis for expanding business opportunities of local communities and it will facilitate emergence of value-added products, with emphasis on quality control, packaging and branding.
Radda also pointed out that senatorial districts will be used as the platform for selection of products; as the Agency would be anticipating 109 products from the 109 senatorial districts across the Federation including FCT. He said the Programme shall primarily focus on cooperatives that are duly registered with the relevant bodies to reduce MSME mortality and ensure competitiveness.
He said the essence of the programme was to cultivate resourcefulness among local people who become the driving force for generating new ideas in agriculture, processing, tourism, commerce and many other fields, adding “This calls for transfer of skills such as literacy, vocational, entrepreneurship and leadership to local communities with the ultimate aim of creating sustainable and happy communities through their actions”
The training, according to him was to build the capacity of field officers with the necessary tools required to assist the various cooperatives in arriving at the appropriate needs and gaps to be filled in order to take their various enterprises to the next level, adding the training was also an avenue to get the buy in of stakeholders especially the state government to ensue sustainability of the progamme and local ownership of the process.