THE DIRECTOR General, Ekiti State Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency, MEDA, Otunba Kayode Fasae, has revealed plans for the Agricultural and Small/Medium Enterprise Intervention Scheme. AGSMEIS, a platform initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, to train Four Thousand Five Hundred entrepreneurs and equip them for loan management in business.
According to Otunba Fasae, the training which will hold in a five-day period in between September and October 2019 is initiated by Ekiti State Government through MEDA to equip entrepreneurs in the state for viable, collective economic growth.
The training, which is scheduled to hold in 10 centres across the 16 Local Government Areas, will be in two batches with over 2,500 beneficiaries being involved. The remaining 2,000 beneficiaries will be attended to in the next phase.
He also said that the Agency has concluded plans with two Enterprise Development Institutes , EDIs, to effect proper implementation of the training before the disbursement of loans.
“After accessing the contact list of the CBN’s EDIs, we concluded to work with two of them from a shortlist of about 20. These EDIs include the African Leadership Forum which is the best training institute in Western Nigeria and also the Enterprise Grooming Institute, a body currently handling the development of SMEs in Kwara State with
enviable success story.
“Another entity equally important to this exercise is the Bureau of Employment Labour and Productivity, BELP, who are playing important role of ensuring we access qualified entrepreneurs for the scheme.
“We have started the process of harmonizing training modules, setting timeline for implementation in order to ensure maximum success at the end of the scheme.
“This training will also help these entrepreneurs to learn the intricacies on all available funding intervention schemes and other State Government enterprise funding arrangements,” he said.
Otunba Fasae emphasized on the need for the beneficiaries of this scheme to explore opportunities dutifully, saying that Governor Kayode Fayemi in conjunction with WEMA Bank, has ensured the fee for the training is subsidized and paid fully on behalf of the 4,500 entrepreneurs as the government is interfacing between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the beneficiaries of the scheme.
“His Excellency, Governor Kayode Fayemi in partnership with our financial facilitator, WEMA Bank wants to ensure this scheme benefit as many youths as possible by paying in full, the sum of N25, 000.00 per person. Ordinarily, the fee is within the range of N100, 000.00 to N120, 000.00 but this has been fully taken care of. This is a reflection of the governor’s love for the development of youths in the state.
He also said that Agency have embarked on strategic sensitization to ensure qualified persons are recruited for the training.
“Prior to this time, many people believed that any loan coming from the government is only a share of the dividends of democracy. We want to correct that impression through this programme. MEDA now have solid structure for monitoring and evaluation of loans given out. For instance, we are going to be designating Credit Officers across the 16 LGAs to closely monitor these business owners. We want to create a system whereby our youths are involved in productive business activities that will yield viable growth for the economy of the state.
Otunba Fasae also explained that the training is in three phases namely; Pre-Training, Training and Post Training.
“This is to ensure adequate sensitization, equipping and funding of selected business owners. Each of the phases has a peculiar system to monitor and evaluate the performance of the trainees.
“This training equally equip entrepreneurs to access the MSME, Youth Enterprise Development, and Anchor Borrower Loans,” he said.
Director General, Bureau of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Mr. Lanre Ogunjobi, in his contributions, said that his agency is set to address the technical areas of the scheme, adding that all areas of the sector covered by the agency will be duly explored for active participation.
“We want to ensure this scheme works out effectively as planned. Therefore, we are exploring all sectors under our coverage to be part of this programme. It is a way of ensuring that qualified persons within the Labour and Productivity sector are duly represented in the training for the development of our economy in Ekiti State,” he said.