Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has engaged 100 physically challenged entrepreneurs in training on skills to improve their standards of living.
SMEDAN Director-General, Mr Olawale Fasanya, made the disclosed at the opening of a three-day capacity building programme on Tuesday in Lagos.
The event was on Grant and Growth Support for Business Members Organisation (BMO) and trade associations.
Fasanya said that the training was only for the persons with physical not mentality challenges and provide them with the opportunities to be self-reliant as well as contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Some of the physical challenged are into different trade such as printing, buying and selling of different goods, cobblers, soap making and others.
“The idea of today’s training is to bring you together to network and see how we can get you products to the market.
“After the training, we are still going to visit you individually and provide a business development services as well a arrange a special opportunity fair for you where you can showcase your product,” he said.
According to him, the fair will help them to know their weakness and advantages in their business pursuit, especially in marketing their products.
Fasanya said that the programme was consistent with the provisions of the National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that sought to ensure economic inclusion and empowerment of people with special disabilities.
He explained that the programme was consistent with the provisions of the National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)which seeks to ensured economic inclusion and empowerment of people with special abilities.
Fasanya said that the training was meant to delivered to the special abilities the opportunities for economic self-relians and for contributions of the growth of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He urged the stronger ones among them to help the weaker ones in achieving their potentials and work towards their dreams.
Fasanya advised their various association to fashion our innovative programmes to bring together industry and education to change the game for future visionary and change-maker.
The Director, Entrepreneurship, Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Taiwo Abiose, said the Lagos State Government had trained 1,000 physically challenged persons since October 2021.
Abiose said that the beneficiaries had been provided with start-up kits and take-off grant to assist them after the training.
She also said that the Lagos State Government would soon start the second batch of the training for persons with disability.
Director, Partnering and Coordinating, SMEDAN, Dr Friday Opara, represented by Dr Yinka Fishers, commended the participants for contributing the Nigerian economy.
Opara said that the training was to improve their performance in various fields of trade and added that SMEDAN would continue to ensure collaboration with them.
The Coordinator, Nigerian Association of the Blind, Lagos Chapter, Mrs Christiana Akinrimade, commended SMEDAN for encouraging and exposing them to both foreign and local training.
She appealed to the Federal Government to employ initiatives that would enable special persons have access to funds to develop their businesses.
The President, Easton Star Care Foundation, Mrs Upright Nkpofen, hailed the efforts of SMEDAN in training and retraining.
Nkpofen seek SMEDAN support to appeal on their behalf to government to patronise them.
She said that she sales the best liquid soap in Nigeria adding that Government she was not getting any patronage from government.
Nkpofen urged SMEDAN to keep empowering them to enable them to train thousands of them who were not privileged to participate in the programme.
Mr Babatunde Muhammed, a participant at the training, urged the government to patronize his printing business to enable him care for his family.
Another participant, Mr Kayode Afolabi, said they needed a more conducive atmosphere to sell their products.
He urged the government to provide a special shops in all major markets for persons with disability.
Another participants, Mrs Moturayo Adetunji, a trader, said she faced challenges of patronage from public while selling her shoes.