Abuja -The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has started talks with the National Automotive Council, the Lady Mechanic Initiative and other relevant stakeholders on the establishment of a world-class auto-mechanic business clusters.
This is contained in a statement signed by Levi Anyikwa, Assistant Director (Corporate Affairs) of SMEDAN, a copy of which was made available
The statement said the talks are aimed at establishing world-class auto-mechanic business clusters, which would be fully equipped with modern technologies.
It said that the clusters would employ many technicians in auto repairs and maintenance across the country.
The statement said that SMEDAN would make available, some of its Industrial Development Centres across the country, provide entrepreneurship training as well as access to working capital and mentoring services to prospective beneficiaries.
“Also, the National Automotive Council and the Lady Mechanic Initiative, which already had some sponsors and partners, are expected to provide the qualitative technical training to existing and prospective auto mechanics using ultra-modern technologies,’’ it said.
The statement listed some of the organisations expected to take part to include the Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, MTN Foundation, Peugeot, Tata, Honda, Mitsubishi, Global Fund for Women, Toyota Nigeria, RT Briscoe, Mandillas, Coscharis Group, CFAO, and Sandex Car Care Ltd.
Others are federal ministries, departments and agencies [MDAs], state governments, foreign embassies in the country, development finance institutions, business membership organisations and trade associations.
Meanwhile, Mr Muhammad Nadada Umar, the Director-General of SMEDAN, has said that small and medium enterprises must embrace technical advancement if they are to achieve their full potential.
Umar made the remark when he received Mrs Sandra Aguebor-Ekperuoh, the Founder/Executive Director, of Lady Mechanic Initiative, who paid him a courtesy call, in his office.
He reiterated the commitment of the Agency to partner with individuals and organisations with sound business ideas, stressing that the Lady Mechanic had shown passion and commitment through its track record of achievements.
Umar further said that the entrepreneurial opportunities that abound in the field of auto repair and maintenance should be exploited by all those involved in the business as there were much potential for development and job creation in the sector.
“Mechanics should view their vocation as a micro and small enterprises with the potential for job creation and economic development,” the DG said.
He, therefore, advised Aguebor-Ekperuoh to incorporate her male counterparts among her beneficiaries in order to make a quicker impact on the economy.
Earlier, Aguebor-Ekperuoh, who made a presentation to Umar, said the aim of her visit was to seek areas of collaboration with the Agency.
She said that the programmes and achievements of SMEDAN under Umar were of public knowledge, adding that the Agency had done so much in the development of SMEs through training programmes for skills acquisition and facilitation of access to loans.
Aguebor-Ekperuoh said that the Lady Mechanic Initiative was committed to keeping young girls and women off the streets and discouraging negative tendencies such as prostitution and other criminal activities.
She disclosed that youth, who indicated interest in becoming mechanics, were trained through a rigorous process in both theoretical and practical aspects of becoming mechanics where trainees go through an academy to become professionals.
“The Lady Mechanic Initiative is an accredited non-governmental organisation, established for the purpose of empowering young girls and women with technical and mechanical skills to become competent in the field of automotive repairs and maintenance.” (NAN)
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