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President Koroma breaks new ground for youth empowerment

President Koroma breaks new ground for youth empowerment

President Ernest Bai Koroma has discussed at length the issue of youth empowerment and youth employment with two Nigerian youth development Agencies and invited the Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the National Directorate for Employment in Nigeria and their respective teams to conduct a youth needs assessment of the whole country (Sierra Leone) and present a blue print within the shortest possible time.  (Photo: President Ernest Bai Koroma making a case for the Sierra Leonean Youth to Nigerian SMEDAN Employment Director Generals)

The meeting which was facilitated by Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria H.E. Henry O. Macauley was born out of the concern and passion the duo have for the present status of the Sierra Leonean youth, which is not only a concern to them, but continue to remain high in the “Agenda For Change” of President Ernest Bai Koroma and his Government.

Briefing H.E President Ernest Bai Koroma at his Transcorp- Hilton Hotel in Abuja, SMEDAN Director General Alhaji Nadada Umar said SMEDAN was established by an Act of 2003 to promote the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector of the Nigerian Economy.

He said the Agency positions itself as a “One Stop Shop” for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development. He said Micro Enterprises are included in the clientele of the Agency because they form the bedrock for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s).

According to Alhaji Nevada Umar, “the vision is to establish a structured and efficient micro, small and medium enterprises sector that will enhance sustainable development of Nigeria.

“Such intervention will facilitate the access of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs/investors to all resources required for their development”.

He said poverty is a direct result of lack of access to income-earning opportunities, and lack of capacity to take advantage of opportunities: it is a social malaise that is threatening global prosperity in general and national economic growth and development in particular.

“His Excellency Sir, “a well developed MSMEs sector has proven to be one of the most veritable channels to combat poverty. “The establishment of SMEDAN is therefore justified by the need to trigger the development of Nigeria’s MSMEs in a structured and efficient manner”.

If you invite us, we are willing and able to help build the capacity of Sierra Leonean youth (Male & Female) of different ages and at different levels through the establishment of SMEDAN in Sierra Leone”.

In his own contribution, Director General, National Directorate of employment in Nigeria Alhaji Abu-Bakr Mohamed said, the National Directorate was established by the National Directorate of Employment Act1989. It is task to design and implement programs to combat mass unemployment; articulate policies aimed at developing work programmes with labor intensive potential, obtain and maintain a data bank on employment and vacancies in the country with a view to acting as a clearing house to link job seekers with vacancies in collaboration with other government agencies, and implement any other policy as may be laid down, from time to time, by the Board.

The two Directors praised High Commissioner Macauley for his efforts at getting at them. According to them, they were travelling to different parts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Saturday, when they received telephone calls from their respective Ministers (NDE is under Min of Labor and SMEDAN) under Commerce and Industry Ministry) and ordered to return with immediate effect to Abuja to respond to an urgent and very important call to duty.

They promised to work with precision in tandem with the status quo and produce the required results.

NDE trains and transfers skills whilst SMEDAN empower skilled individuals with the knowledge-0 how to make money from their skills and become gainfully employed and self sufficient.

Earlier, High Commissioner Henry O Macauley introduced the team, which also include the Directors of SMEDAN Levi Anyikwa and Shehu Sada.

Pasco Gerald Temple, Information Attaché, Sierra Leone High Commission, Abuja, Nigeria

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